Doctor braves severe WX to save veteran’s sight


A local veteran is crediting his ophthalmologist for saving his sight after the doctor drove through last week’s ‘treacherous’ winter storm and walked several blocks to treat him.

Alcea Braggs, 80, is a Vietnam veteran and amputee with a rare eye disease, known as Ocular Cicatricial Pemphigoid.

The disease basically causes his lashes to grow inward and skin to grow in his eyes. Braggs sees a doctor twice a week in an effort to keep what little vision he has left.

On Wednesday, January 29 Braggs was scheduled to meet with Dr. Curtis Graf at Premier Medical in Mobile after his eyes had become infected.

Law enforcement officials however deemed the roads impassable due to a bizarre winter storm that dropped sleet and formed thick ice on the streets.

The severe weather closed several businesses, including the doctor’s office.

The Braggs told FOX10 without warning they had gotten a call from Dr. Graf, announcing that he was already headed to their house.

“This was a perfect storm of situations,” said Dr. Graf, who was surprised to see our camera in his office. “You had a problem that wasn’t going to do well if we tried to wait til Thursday or Friday.”

Braggs said without his knowledge, Dr. Graf parked his vehicle several blocks away from the home after finding numerous cars along Donald Street had spun out of control and were stranded on the icy road.

The doctor walked to the Braggs’ house in a thin jacket and treated Alcea before heading back to his car.

“Most people would have said, ‘Just relax and do the best that you can and come see me tomorrow,’ or something,” said Braggs. “I don’t even know if I would do something like that. I know people are basically good, but some are just better than others. Some people’s faith is just stronger than other people.”

FOX10 news went to Braggs’ eye appointment to watch the two reunite.

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