A woman was blind, and now can see. It reads like a Biblical passage, though there is no divinity at play here.
Cassy Rivera, a
For Dr. Vicente Diaz, who operated on Rivera alongside colleague Dr. Michael Samson, it was another day in a career he has worked hard to attain since childhood.
Diaz, born and raised in
“As a human, when you’re taking the bandage off for the first time, and you see the tears of joy come, it’s impossible not to become emotional,” said Diaz. “It makes all of those years of training, and all the focus and dedication from the very beginning, worthwhile.”
Diaz’s path towards becoming a doctor began early in life, with its roots in his
“In the early ‘80s, at the time, it wasn’t the safest place to be. But my parents made it work; they emphasized academics in our household, and taught us that whatever we were passionate about we could achieve.”
Diaz attended St. Gabriel’s grammar school in
“It was a culture shock to go from a community that is very nearly all Black and Hispanic to one where I was one of a handful of non-whites in the school,” said Diaz.
From there Diaz earned an undergraduate degree in Latin American studies from
“It was a lot of studying,” said Diaz.
Despite currently working full-time as a doctor and teaching, Diaz also operates his own medical device company, utilizing a business plan that he drew up himself. They manufacture and market a device he designed, which he said can “have a substantial impact of the rate of blindness caused by glaucoma.”
Though he claims to not have his future entirely figured out, Diaz acknowledges that it would be a great loss if he never found a way to give back to the community. “I have to believe that if I made it from