Delia McDonald is a busy lady! Between roller skating, volunteering and cycling she had no time for restricted vision. Now, thanks to NHS cataract surgery at a local private eye hospital, she no longer has to put her life on hold.
Delia, 76, from Heaton Chapel in Stockport, enjoys an active lifestyle and likes to keep herself busy. When Covid hit, she volunteered as a marshall at her local vaccination centre alongside her job at the Salvation Army shop three days a week. “I also like exercising – riding my bike, running, ice skating and roller skating, which I have done on and off for a long time” says Delia. “I have a lot of energy!”
Delia has worn very strong prescription glasses from the age of three and has struggled her entire life with astigmatism and a lazy eye. She says: “I suffered terribly – even now it’s upsetting to think about the experiences with my eyes growing up. I was continually paying for glasses but had to keep replacing them as my vision was changing.”
She noticed that her vision was further deteriorating and she was no longer able to drive with confidence. After a thorough vision check, her optometrist confirmed cataracts in both eyes and referred her for surgery straight away.
Delia was referred to Optegra Eye Hospital Manchester, in Didsbury. On the day of surgery, she felt a little nervous but also positive: “I think it’s the first time they had seen someone waiting outside for an hour before the opening! I was so desperate to have my cataract removed.
“The staff made me feel at ease, told me exactly what they were going to do and it was over with so quickly. I really think it is unbelievable.”
Optegra consultant surgeon Ms Habiba Saedon carried out Delia’s surgery. She said “As Mrs McDonald found, cataract surgery is a very speedy procedure but can make such a transformation to vision, and therefore to lifestyle and quality of life.
“Optegra is delighted to be able to support the NHS in the region, to help reduce the vast numbers of people awaiting cataract surgery. If you or a family member are on a long waiting list, please simply ask your GP to refer you to Optegra Manchester, as we commit to seeing patients within four-six weeks of referral. This is NHS surgery, so no charge to patients, but provided in five-star facilities and avoiding a long wait.
“It is an honour to be able to help so many people to be free of cataracts.”
As for Delia, she couldn’t be happier with the results. “I will never forget the first morning after I came home. I woke up and thought ‘are my eyes alright?’ and of course, they were! You can’t explain that feeling of joy, there are no words.
“The surgeons were incredible – I owe them everything. My left eye has always been a problem, it just didn’t work, but I now have vision that I’ve never had before and that is so amazing.
“The cataract must have been there for a good few years without me realizing. The glasses I have now are totally different to the ones I had before
“I find driving far easier and I am more confident on the road. I can clearly see photos of my children and grandchildren and details like the grain in polished wood and specs of paint – colours are so bright now. At work I notice the difference too and I feel that I can do more job more efficiently. Although I’m not sure I like seeing more grey hairs in the mirror!
“I’m an independent woman and my zest for life has been restored.”