"My precious eye"

About: Lions Outback Vision Van

(as the patient),

I recently attended the Lions Eye Bus at the Hedland Health Campus, this visit was a follow up to my eye saga.

Following my eye examination, I asked how is it and was told it's as good as it gets. What does that mean?

My eye journey started earlier in the year when I suffered visual disturbance, photophobia and flashing lights in my right eye. I attended Hedland Health Campus and was sent for a CT scan, the doctor was unable to identify if the retina had detached so referred me to the local Optometrist and what a wonderful man, I cannot thank him enough. Dan opened his shop 3 times that day after hours to take photos of my eye and liaised with the Ophthalmology Department at Royal Perth Hospital, due to the volume of blood and material in my eye, it was difficult to determine what had happened to my eye.

I went home and packed in anticipation of a trip to Perth, in the meantime the Optometrist had a conference call with RPH Ophthalmology Department and they said that the retina was not detached and there was no need to go to Perth.

I continued to work despite incessant nausea, vomiting, photophobia and dizziness for another month when I was booked into the Lions Eye bus that was visiting Port Hedland.

Unfortunately due to the cyclone the visit was delayed by an extra week. I was not able to have any further pictures done by the Optometrist as his equipment was water damaged during the cyclone.

When I was eventually seen (one month later) by the Lions Eye Clinic it was revealed that the retina was detached and the vitreous body had pulled away.

I required laser surgery which had to be done at Hedland Health Campus as the one in the Lions Eye Bus was not working.

The only person that introduced themselves to me was a young doctor who was volunteering, no other person from the Lions Eye Bus introduced themselves to me at any stage even prior to performing surgery on my eye or at my recent visit.

I was not offered any analgesia during the painful process on my eye or was there any level of compassion.

I was even made to feel uncomfortable when I asked for an off work certificate for a week.

I never heard from the Lions Eye Bus until a few days ago for a follow-up so for a few months I had no idea when I was going to be seen or how my eye was going.

This has been a horrible experience and I felt unimportant. I would hate to think that because I am a senior citizen and identify as an Aboriginal that I am not worthy of respectful compassionate care.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion, Patient Opinion Australia

This response is on behalf of Lions Outback Vision:

Dear charasx56,

I am very sorry to hear of your experiences recently with your eye problem and the interaction with Vision Van.

I will be visiting your region this week and would be happy to make time when convenient to you to discuss your concerns and review your eye condition.

I have reviewed your medical records and would like to meet to discuss the nature of your eye condition to explain the appropriate care and timing of the treatments for a good outcome. However, I would like to learn more about the interactions with the team that left you feeling uncomfortable and not valued.

Please also feel free to contact me on 08 9381 0802.

Best wishes,

Angus Turner

Lions Outback Vision

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