Haitian teen gets life-changing eye surgery at Midland Memorial


Micah Jean-Marie had her second and final surgery to repair detached lenses on May 25.

Doctors say the operation was successful and expect Micah to have 20/20 vision once her eyes fully heal.

Roger and Amelia Belizaire from Midland brought Micah to West Texas for the surgery, and say she's already made great improvements since the first surgery that was held on May 11.

"She's been playing cards, she's been doing puzzles, she's been doing a lot of things, and a lot of things she didn't see before she is pointing out," said Amelia Belizaire.

Micah will stay with the Belizaires for at least another four weeks so she can attend several more medical checkups, afterward she'll return home to her family in Haiti.


Micah Jean-Marie is getting to see life from a whole new perspective these days.

The 14-year-old from Haiti is recovering from surgery on a detached lens, but can already see things she had never been able to before.

For perspective, Jean-Marie's condition was so bad that she had to place her head on a book in order to read.

She can now text message like other teens from an arm's length away.

Jean-Marie's surgery was done pro bono by Dr. Shah of the Eye Institute at Midland Memorial Hospital.

He was brought the request by the Belizaire family who has been conducting mission trips to Haiti since 2010 when a devastating hurricane hit the island country.

Amelia Belizaire, who works as a professor at Midland college, said she became friends with Micah and her siblings on one of those trips.

"Their family is just very endearing, very charming," said Belizaire.

As Belizaire got to know Micah she learned of her troubling eye condition and subsequently the lack of treatment available on the island for it.

That's when she and her husband, who works as a vascular surgery doctor, approached his colleague, Dr. Shah.

While he agreed, the acceptance presented a whole other set of obstacles in order to get Micah to Midland, as she had no birth certificate or passport.

The setbacks from the document gatherings postponed Micah's surgery for more than two years.

At the beginning of May, Micah finally flew into to Midland to stay with the Belizaire's and then quickly got the first of her two surgeries completed.

Her next surgery is scheduled for the week of May 21.

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