Tears of Joy for One Patient After Cataract Surgery
We like to imagine we know why we’re here. The eye doctors and staff at LaFollette Eye Clinic abide by a strict code of ethics, we work hard to provide our patients with the latest technology, and we’re careful to uphold our reputation for legendary customer service. We regularly review our mission statement, which is to provide our patients with the highest quality eye care available anywhere.
And yet, sometimes even the most experienced professionals are taken by surprise. Sure, every optometrist has seen his or her share of success stories. But every now and then one comes along that is so profoundly moving it stops us in our tracks and reminds us why we’re really here.
We experienced such a story last week.
Tom Browning, M.D. had performed cataract surgery for several patients and we were assisting with their postoperative care. One of our Certified Paraoptometrics helped a patient to an exam room. The patient’s wife also helped, as the patient was wearing a patch over the eye that had surgery and could only see shadows out of the other eye. The patient’s wife mentioned that he has only been able to see shadows for the past two years, and they were excited to see whether the surgery had changed their lives.
Once the patient was seated, the Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) removed the patch. The patient immediately looked at his wife and exclaimed her name with happiness. He was seeing his wife clearly for the first time in two years! His wife stood to her feet and jumped for joy, with tears streaming down her face. Both husband and wife hugged, cried, and thanked God for the successful cataract surgery and his restored vision.
The patient’s wife explained to her husband that she would no longer have to describe the scene when they took a trip to the lake; he would be able to see it himself. At this, the CPO was overwhelmed; she also began to cry tears of joy with them. She also thanked God for enabling men to change lives, and for being a part of it.
The patient and his wife thanked us repeatedly for all we had done. They claimed this would be the best Thanksgiving they had ever had. They left LaFollette Eye Clinic incredibly happy, and they left a deep impression on the CPO that helped them, as well as on all of us.
It was a wonderful way to begin a season that all too often is disrupted by commercialism and conflict. It was a gentle reminder that behind every pair of eyes is a person, each with his or her own hopes and dreams. It was affirmation that we are doing exactly as we should: performing at our highest level, caring for others, and doing the best job we possibly can, one patient at a time.
And, we’re incredibly thankful for having been reminded of that.