For French-born Anne Burchett, inspired by her continental roots, her love of wine is her hobby, her work and even inspiration for her novel.
Anne, age 58 and from Twickenham, is a wine trade consultant whose work has varied over the years from wine tasting and judging, sales, marketing and management of wine companies, teaching and writing about the wine trade, and completing a novel.
“My first job was working with nappies, but I got bored after 18 months as the product was not exciting. Wine sounded like a much better alternative and I have never looked back! It is a fabulous product and always evolving.”
Anne Burchett has enjoyed a new lease of life after her laser eye surgery
To enjoy all of this to the full, she considers her eyesight precious, especially having suffered a retinal detachment two years ago:
“My experience has led to heightened concern about my vision – the fear that I could lose it has coloured my whole experience. I have always been very short sighted and my childhood was marred by the alienation and isolation I felt at school due to wearing thick ‘jam jar’ glasses. I moved on to the discomfort of hard and uncomfortable ‘first generation’ contact lenses when I was 17, so I’ve always been very aware of the importance of good eyesight.
“Laser eye surgery in my 40s was transformative and ‘wow!’ but then to have a retinal detachment two years ago, it has led to a form of paranoia really. As a writer and avid reader the thought of losing my eyesight fills me with dread.”
It is not uncommon for retinal detachment to lead to cataract, and indeed this happened to Anne. She was referred for surgery in the summer of 2020, and by January was feeling desperate as she could hardly see from the affected eye.
“I went back to my optician and local hospital but was told they could not carry out any procedure due to the backlog from Covid – that it could be a year’s wait, which made me feel quite depressed. I was desperate, but then Specsavers suggested Optegra eye hospital – and I cannot believe how quickly things turned around from there!
“It went incredibly fast – I was referred early Feb and operated on in March. It was ideal to have the op during lockdown when I’m not going anywhere, so when normal life picks up, I will be able to see, which is really quite useful!”
Anne was referred to Optegra Eye Hospital North London, where surgeon Mr. Javad Moayedi confirmed her diagnosis and treatment plan. He said:
“In Anne’s case the cataract was a direct result of the retinal detachment two years ago, and it was really impacting her vision in the one eye – which can be very unsettling. Initially she had been warned of a one year waiting list with her local general hospital, but we are delighted to be able to support NHS patients here at Optegra and have capacity to treat quickly.
“We are always very mindful of putting patients at ease, helping them relax with this very common procedure. We are delighted for Anne at the outcome, having restored near 20/20 vision from a strong prescription; and we all wish her well.”
As for the day of surgery, Anne says: “The nurses were brilliant and I appreciated the surgeon’s manner – reassuring and professional. I felt I was in very good hands and I was kept informed during the op of exactly what was happening. Which was great as I could tell it was going well – not like the shaking of head and ‘oh dear’ you get when you take your car to the garage!”
Anne says her vision is now much better than before, recovery time was remarkably fast and everything is so much brighter.