BLUEFIELD W.VA. (WVVA) - Dr. Stephen Blaydes' family has been caring for patients in Bluefield for nearly a century.
"My grandfather came to Bluefield on a train in 1921, right as he finished his residency training in New York City to start his career," said Blaydes.
After his grandfather quit practicing, his father took over. Then, in 1994 it was his turn to continue the legacy in the field of ophthalmology.
Blaydes said he chose the field because of the difference it makes for the patients who need this practice.
"You can really create some wonderful things for people, that drastically changes their lives and they're grateful and appreciative," said Blaydes.
Caring for his patients did not stop with the pandemic.
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, he said he was willing and available to help those who needed it most.
"We were restricted to seeing only emergencies, we couldnt do surgery, we couldn't do anything, other than emergency eye care," said Blaydes.
He also provided for his staff during the shutdown.
Blaydes said doing this was important because his staff is the backbone of the practice.
"We are fortunate to have those kind of people, quality people who connect with our patients, are part of a team, that work together well to take care of a lot of a large frawn of people, and try to do that without sacrificing quality and do it in a timely way," said Blaydes.
Nearly 30 years into his career, Blaydes said he is excited to continue caring for the community, despite any challenges the practices may face.
"It is very important to me um to have a legacy that people in our area will still have eye surgical, medical, care without having to go long distances," said Blaydes.
That passion for people, and excitement to continue caring for the community is what makes Dr. Stephen Blaydes a hometown hero.
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