By Camille Condon, Director, International Office, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
and Mary Leach, Director of Public Affairs, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Twelve year-old Andrea smiles as she tries on eyeglasses in Mass. Eye and Ear’s Optical Shop. The fact that she can wear glasses at all is impressive—up until a few weeks ago the girl had a tumor behind her right eye that had grown to the size of a large grapefruit, destroying the eye and pushing it out of the socket. Doctors from her home country of Romania told her family she had an inoperable tumor and gave her just months to live.
The benign tumor continued to grow for eight years with no help in sight until Andrea’s teacher contacted Dr. Aaron Fay’s office at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary and asked for help. The Romanian community raised funds to bring Andrea, accompanied by her father, here for treatment. During several surgeries, Dr. Fay removed the tumor, reconstructed her orbital area and implanted a prosthetic eye.
The care was donated by the Hospital
and Dr. Fay in honor of the late Ray Tye.
Eileen Tye was touched by the gesture.
“Unlike an honor where you are handed a plaque or a bowl, this is an honor from heart to heart,” she said. “Ray would have loved helping Andrea. The two of them would have been great friends.”
The Nemethi family is grateful for all the love and support they received, but mostly they are thankful to the man they never got the chance to meet but who continues to help those in need. “He must have been a very kind man,” said Andrea. “With a big soul,” added her father, Peter.
Andrea has returned to Romania where she will resume her studies and take part in many activities she was previously unable to enjoy.
Ray Tye was a thoughtful man who led a meaningful life. He never missed a chance to help people, especially children. He gave freely, without fanfare or any wish for recognition. His generosity knew no bounds.
Early this year when I saw the photo of this young Romanian girl, I thought of Ray. Helping this girl is exactly what Ray would have done. So I contacted Camille Condon in our International Office to see how we could help, and I donated my own services in honor of Ray. In turn, the hospital administration could not have agreed more and waived all fees for this family.
I am honored to continue to work with The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation.
Aaron M. Fay, M.D.
Director, Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary