UAB eye doctor speaks at Lions Club meeting

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

The Clanton Lions Club welcomed Dr. Michael Callahan of UAB Callahan Eye Hospital as its guest speaker during a meeting on Nov. 16 at Kountry Kitchen.

Callahan spoke about the history of the hospital as well as several different eye injuries and diseases.

“All good stories need a hero and to stand for something,” he said. “The hero of this story is not me. The hero of this story is you. Several of you have come up to me as you got your plates and told me about eye trouble you had and coming to the eye hospital. Y’all have benefited from the hospital, and y’all are the heroes of this story. I thank y’all for being such an important part of the history of the eye hospital.”

Callahan said the eye hospital opened to patients in December of 1965 in Birmingham.

“Very quietly, through the acquisition of land and the gifting of private donations, the hospital opened it doors,” he said. “It was paid for entirely by private donations.” This was owned by the board of trustees of the hospital, not by the Callahan family. It is now owned by UAB.”

According to the hospital’s website, “For 50 years, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital has focused on delivering innovative eye care and pioneering breakthroughs in the preservation and restoration of eyesight. We have been recognized internationally and nationally for outstanding patient care, treatment of eye trauma, and crucial research in eye disease.”

Callahan Eye Hospital now has multiple clinic locations across central Alabama.

At the end of his presentation, Callahan walked over to his jacket that was draped across the back of a chair. He pulled a BB gun out from underneath it.

He mentioned the quote “You’ll shoot your eye out kid,” from “A Christmas Story” before emphatically hitting the gun over the back of a different chair.

Once he had broken the gun completely in half, he looked at the crowd and said, “That’s all I think BB guns are good for,” as a comment against the safety issues involved with such toys.

Glenn McGriff of the Lions Club thanked Callahan for coming after his presentation was complete.

“I enjoyed preparing for it and talking with my family about it,” Callahan said.