March 8, 2019

Sight Changing, Life Changing

Palmalee Byrd

Palmalee Byrd

Palmalee Byrd was the little boy that all the other children made fun of on the playground. When he went to school for the first time, he couldn’t keep up because he was unable to see to read the board. He returned to school the next year with very thick glasses and was teased every day.

Following his graduation, Palmalee wanted to join the military to serve during the Vietnam War. He failed the physical due to his poor eyesight and was rejected for military service.

After wearing glasses for 50 years, Palmalee was thrilled to be able to see clearly for the first time in his life following his cataract surgery at the UAMS Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute. Doubting that the UAMS Eye Institute could help him because he had been treated by so many eye doctors during his lifetime, Palmalee was still willing to undergo cataract surgery by Dr. Romona Davis. Dr. Davis treated him like a family member and communicated her personal interest in his medical treatment, so he trusted that she would take care of him.

A day after his surgery, Palmalee was able to see clearly and even able to read license plates. Now he uses only over-the-counter reading glasses.

Relatives who had not seen him in years are astounded by the new Palmalee. Having worn glasses all his life, including a broken pair that had been taped together, his loved ones are very impressed by the improvement in Palmalee’s vision.

Due to his limited vision, Palmalee spent a lot of time in the house when he was young, and he developed a love for music. Able to play several musical instruments, Palmalee has performed with several musical groups during his professional career.