(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — This week, following a viral post by Humans of New York detailing the subway assault of Kasson Woods, which rendered him blind, SUNY College Optometry’s University Eye Center, the Optometric Center of New York, and Monoplex Eye Prosthetics LLC teamed together to provide a free prosthetic eye and fitting for Kasson to help restore his confidence as well as months of medical care, as featured this week by NBC News.
“This was like a permanent injury and a permanent mark,” Woods shared with NBC News of New York. “I feel a little bit put back together. When people see me now, they don’t see someone who is just a victim.”
“I was moved by Kasson’s story in Humans of New York and his struggle to accept his blindness,” said David Libassi, OD, Associate Clinical Professor at SUNY College of Optometry and a cornea/contact lens expert, who has spent nearly 40 years treating patients at the College’s University Eye Center in Manhattan. “We see people of all ages and with many types of eye conditions, and have expertise in caring for those who have suffered vision loss and damage to the eye due to disease or traumatic injury. Although he is blind, we thought perhaps receiving a new prosthetic for his left eye would be uplifting.”
“After seeing Humans of New York’s post and reading about Kasson’s painful journey, I knew we at SUNY could help make a difference,” said Melissa Levine, OD, Cornea & Contact Lens Resident at SUNY College of Optometry. “Working with him these past few months for fittings and medical care, and seeing how this prosthetic eye has restored a sense of confidence within him, has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”
Kasson’s prosthetic eye evaluation and fitting were conducted by doctors at the SUNY College of Optometry’s University Eye Center with care funded by the College’s foundation, The Optometric Center of New York. Monoplex Eye Prosthetics LLC in Sturbridge, Massachusetts worked with SUNY Optometry to make the custom-fitted prosthetic eye and color, also at no charge.
You can watch the full NBC New York segment here. You can read Kasson’s journey on Humans of New York here.