Man\'s generosity helps Jamaican boy

The Miami Herald

Featured on: Miami.com

August 16, 2001

A poor Jamaican boy who was slowly going blind had successful eye surgery Monday thanks to a Florida man who read about his story in a newspaper.

Demar Brown, who turned 10 on Aug. 1, was flown to South Florida to undergo a corneal transplant to restore his vision. The boy suffered from a degenerative eye disorder and was forced to drop out of his elementary school last fall because he could no longer see the chalkboard.

Lloyd Millanise, a Delray Beach resident and Jamaica native, read about Demar in The Daily Star of Kingston during a March trip. The article said Demar's family, from Ewarton, could not afford to pay for the surgery, which could cost up to $75,000 if done locally. It cost $15,000 here.

When Millanise returned home, he contacted Air Jamaica and the airline agreed to donate plane tickets for Demar and his aunt, Dian English. Then Millanise approached his eye surgeon, Dr. Eric Rothchild, during a follow-up visit for laser eye surgery he underwent in the fall.

Rothchild agreed to perform Demar's surgery for free. The Lions Eye Bank, in Miami, paid for the $1,500 cornea from a 21-year-old donor.