Doctor inspired by Superman gives woman with no arms free corrective eye surgery

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - An Overland Park doctor is donating eye surgery to a woman with no arms so she doesn't have to put in her contacts with her feet anymore.

Jessica Cox, of Phoenix, was born with no arms. But she hasn't let that stop her from becoming a black belt, scuba diver, licensed pilot and motivational speaker.

But Jessica has always struggled putting on her glasses and contacts.

Dr. Daniel Durrie is about to change that.

Durrie's "Focus on Independence" program, inspired by actor Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in four movies in the 1970s and 80s, began in 2003. Since then, it has helped over 100 patients overcome obstacles in optometry brought on by a variety of disabilities and ailments.

Durrie will perform, free of charge, a laser vision correction surgery Friday afternoon, freeing her of the hassle of glasses and contacts. The surgery is valued at about $5,000.

Durie started Focus on Independence in 2003 when he watched Christopher Reeve appear on television after the accident that left him paralyzed. Before his speech, he had to wait for a helper to place his reading glasses on him so he could see.

Focus on Independence has resulted in over $500,000 in free optical surgery to everyone from ALS patients to accident victims like Reeve to one patient who had all limbs removed after contracting a virus.


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