Arguably the most famous Youtuber and the most watched Youtuber of 2022, Jimmy Donaldson mostly known as MrBeast on Youtube, declared to his 130 million subscribers in a YouTube video on Friday that he would help cure “1,000 people’s blindness.”
The video which he posted on his Youtube channel, holds a compilation of people who are blind or nearly blind and who underwent cataract removal surgery which was fully funded by MrBeast, CNN reported. The video shows patients’ surprised reactions in the aftermath of the surgery as MrBeast hands some of them $10,000 or more. MrBeast said:
“We’re curing a thousand people’s blindness,” in the Saturday video, which reached over 32 million views as of Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist, and surgeon worked with MrBeaast to perform the first round of surgeries in Jacksonville, Florida. Levenson has coordinated the “Gift of Sight” program for over 20 years, which provides free cataract surgery for uninsured patients who are legally blind due to cataracts.
Levenson said he later performed surgeries on a group of 40 people in an 11-hour time span. He said he also connected the YouTuber’s team to SEE International, an organization that gives free eyecare to folks across the globe and a group where Levenson serves as a chief medical officer.
“If MrBeast can light a fire, and if we can get governmental and private support behind it, we can end half of all the blindness in the world. Without all that much cost, and with incredible gains in human productivity and human potential.”
“Half of all blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery,” Levenson says in the video, referring to the cataract-removal surgery.
“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.”
Levenson got a call from a member of Donaldson’s team in September. “I had never heard of MrBeast,” he said. “So I almost hung up. But I gratefully did not hang up.”
They started by calling homeless shelters and free clinics to create a list of patients in the Jacksonville area who needed cataract surgery but could not afford it. Eventually, they had a group of 40 patients – and Levenson performed all of their surgeries in a single day, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m.
Most of Levenson’s patients told him that they were in “disbelief that somebody would actually seek them out to rescue them from blindness, and then have the kindness and generosity of spirit to offer the surgery.”
The ophthalmologist also connected Donaldson’s team with SEE International, for which he serves as the chief medical officer. The nonprofit provides free eye care around the world to patients in need. The organization helped Donaldson reach even more patients, for a total of 1,000 surgeries completed around three weeks. The video shows patients receiving the surgery in Jamaica, Honduras, Namibia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Kenya.
Levenson said he hopes the video and Donaldson’s generosity inspire “a concerted effort to end needless blindness.”
“If MrBeast can light a fire, and if we can get governmental and private support behind it, we can end half of all the blindness in the world,” he said. “Without all that much cost, and with incredible gains in human productivity and human potential.”