YouTube Star MrBeast Gives The Gift Of Sight To 1,000 People
MrBeast – real name Jimmy Donaldson – most recent social media stunt was paying for cataract removal for 1,000 people
MrBeast – real name Jimmy Donaldson – most recent social media stunt was paying for cataract removal for 1,000 people who were blind or very close to it and could not afford the surgery. In a video he shared on Saturday (which reached 32 million views by Sunday afternoon), Donaldson says, “we’re curing a thousand people’s blindness.” The touching post features footage of patients before and after the surgery, being able to see for the first time ever or in decades at the least.
MrBeast worked with Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist, and surgeon, to perform the surgeries in Jacksonville, Florida. He also connected MrBeast’s team with SEE International, a nonprofit providing free eye care worldwide to patients. This allowed Donaldson to reach people in Jamaica, Honduras, Namibia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Kenya.
“The Gift of Sight” With MrBeast
For over 20 years Levenson has coordinated the “Gift of Sight” program which provides free cataract surgery to patients who are legally blind [due to cataracts] but are uninsured. In his video with Donaldson he shares, “Half of all blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery.” And, when talking to CNN, the ophthalmologist explained that it was his own life changing experience from cataract surgery that inspired him to help others.
“In the days and weeks after my own cataract surgery, I was stunned by how bright and beautiful and vivid the world was,” he said. “But I was shocked by the idea that there are hundreds of millions, probably 200 million people around the world, who are blind or nearly blind from cataracts and who don’t have access to the surgery.”
MrBeast’s team reached out to Levenson in September and not having ever heard of the YouTube influencer, he almost hung up, “but I gratefully did not hang up,” he said. The two began calling homeless shelters and clinics to build their lists of patients in the Jacksonville area who needed cataract surgery but couldn’t afford it. They gathered 40 people on which Levenson performed the surgery – starting the day at 7 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m.
The surgery in the video is called Phacoemulsification – a procedure in which doctors make a small incision in the eye and vacuum out the eye’s clouded cataract lens, and follow up by inserting a new artificial lens. And, to put this all into perspective, this procedure can cost up to $6,000 for someone without insurance.
The now-viral video will have you tearing up as you witness patients remove their bandages to see properly, and some receiving more than just sight, but also gifts from the 24-year-old influencer to kickstart their new life.
Happy Tears Are The Only Blur Now
For many people in the video, being able to properly see is something they haven’t ever experienced. And, for those blessed with proper vision, you know that it’s not something you have to lose to know what it’s worth. Eyesight is vital for something as simple as recognizing an object or a person to something as major as driving a car or flying a plane (and of course everything in between).
Charlie, a man in the video, was restricted from working because of his deteriorated vision. After receiving the surgery, Donaldson also gifted him $10,000.
Another man highlighted his son who has been his ‘rock’ throughout his vision problems and the first thing he wanted was to see his face. When he came out of surgery and the two met, they instantly embraced in tears. “I can see everybody’s facial features now,” while wiping away a tear.
MrBeast continued his mission with a young boy, Jeremiah. The cataract he was born with prevents the eye from ever seeing light. This meant that the surgery only had a 50 percent chance of being successful. When he removed his bandages to find out that the surgery had worked, he broke down in tears. And, it didn’t stop there for Jeremiah. MrBeast also presented him with a $50,000 check to put towards his college tuition.
Satchel, a teenager who was born partially blind and nearly lost all of his vision in a go-cart accident, can barely see shapes. He explained that all he can see is blur and color. He shared with MrBeast that because of his circumstances, he couldn’t drive and always found himself stuck at home. So, along with his cataract surgery, MrBeast gifted him a Tesla.
Donaldson has captured the attention of internet citizens (netizens) across the world. One user commented on his efforts, “The fact that Jimmy went from doing challenges to saving lives around the world is admirable, massive respect for great work.”
MrBeast has become popular across YouTube being one of the highest-paid users with 130 million subscribers. He’s well known for his ridiculous stunts including being buried alive for 50 hours and surviving 100 days in a circle. And now, he’s also grabbed the attention of his followers and more by giving the gift of sight.