Nashville optometrist and animal rescue supporter, Dr. David Gavami and his wife, vividly remember the evening of May 2, 2010. It was the weekend known as “Nashville’s Great Flood” and it was a night he will never forget. “Like everyone else, we weren’t expecting major flooding, and we were in denial so we had decided to stay at home with our four dogs and two cats,” explained Gavami.
“It was dark outside and I hadn’t really been concerned with the river rising, but when I glanced out the back windows and saw the river at my back door starting to come into the house I knew we were in big trouble.” Dr. Gavami went out the front door to check on his car. “We were shocked to see it was up to the floorboards in water,” recalled Dr. Gavami. “When we looked out through the darkness, we saw the entire front yard submerged underwater.”
This was not standing water, but a swift current that Gavami estimated to be three feet deep and it covered all the neighbor’s yards. “At this point reality sank in and we went into a rescue mode. We knew if we had to be rescued our animals would be left behind and that wasn’t going to happen. I knew we would need help with the animals, so I called my brother and cousin.” With help on the way, Dr. Gavami and his wife began packing up things their pets would need and a few essentials for themselves. “I figured we’d be back the next day, so we just tossed some things for the pet and ourselves in garbage sacks,” said Gavami. We had no idea it would be months before they could return to their home.
While waiting for help to arrive, the water began to come through the front door and into the living room. Dr. Gavami’s Doberman, Luke, was soon paddling his way through six inches of water. The cats, Henry and JoJo had taken refuge on a table. The three other dogs, Nellie, MooMoo and Sydney were on the couch together.
“When my brother and cousin arrived, I swam out to meet them to get a plan together,” Gavami recalls. “I plunged in expecting it to be three feet deep, but I went in up to my neck.” They soon devised a plan and with the Harpeth River still rising, they went to work on rescuing their loved animals.
“At times I was literally swimming across the front-yard. My wife, brother and cousin formed a short life-line so they could reach out and grab each pet as the current swept me downstream,” said Dr. David Gavami, “After passing off one, I’d make my way back to the house and go and get another. It was definitely a harrowing experience.” Not only were we swimming in dangerous waters at night, there were tornado sirens going off and lots of lightning. Unless you have lived through something like this you have no idea how scary Mother Nature can get. Three days later when they were allowed to go back to their house they found the water had reached two feet deep in their living room and three feet in their lower level all the contents of their home were destroyed including two of their cars.
David and Jerri Gavami have heard similar stories at their South Nashville, East optometry and eye care office. “Our customers know we’ve been involved with animal and pet rescue for years. So when they come in, they are quick to share stories of their animals and the flood,” said Jerri Gavami.
For that reason, Nuvue Eyecare and Optical will be donating a portion of all February sales to area rescue groups. “We’ll be taking these proceeds and buying items such as food, medicine and supplies then delivering them to local rescue groups in Brentwood and Nashville and will be reaching out to Nolensville in efforts to hook up with groups there,” says Dr. Gavami. “We’re also looking for donations. People can stop by our shop and drop off cat or dog collars, leashes, cat litter, toys, bandages, feeding bowls, towels, cleaning items and basically anything they would use at home when caring for their pet.”
NuVue Eyecare and Optical offers comprehensive vision care including eye examinations, contact lens fitting, trauma care, allergy management, refractive surgery co-management and acute condition eyecare. NuVue also offers a wide variety of over 30 designer eye frames including John Varvatos, OGI, LaFont, Juicy, Jhane Barnes, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Etnia Barcelona. NuVue Eyecare and Optical also accepts VSP Insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Eyemed, Optum (or Spectera), Cigna as well as many more. NuVue also honors Care Credit.
Anyone who would like to donate items are asked to stop by their Nashville, East Brentwood eye care and optometry shop on Sugar Valley Drive, just south of Lennox Village and on Nolensville Road during the month of February.
For more information or directions, please call NuVue Eyecare at 615-941-2020.