Jill Rodgers

Jill Rodgers
15 May 2011

I started wearing glasses because of shortsightedness when at school studying for my A-levels. I managed with glasses quite well, but was then diagnosed with keratoconus in 1995, and since then have been wearing hard contact lenses.

I took to wearing lenses like a duck to water, but after about 5 years the coning in my corneas started to really steepen, with my left eye being particularly bad. It wasn’t long before I was wearing keratoconic lenses, and because my left cornea was so steep, my left contact lense was continually popping out. As you can imagine, this was rather frustrating, and resulted in a number of lenses being lost.

By 2007 my left cornea had become so thin (and I was so shortsighted) that I was put on the waiting list for a new cornea in August. Once tissue became available everything happened very quickly – I got the call putting me on standby on friday 2nd November, and had the operation on the Monday.

The operation was really quick, and I was so well looked after by everyone at the Centre for Sight/McIndoe surgical ward. It was a strange sensation when the bandage was taken off after the op the next morning, as my eye just couldn’t stop watering and my vision was extremely blurred. But I knew already that, only 12hrs after the op, my eyesight had already improved compared to what I had previously.

For the first 3 or 4 days after the op my eye was very watery and very bloodshot, but that soon calmed down. Bright sunlight was also a bit uncomfortable first thing in the morning, but again that calmed down after a matter of days. And once I got used to administering the eyedrops myself, it was a case of taking things easy and recuperating.

I can honestly say that getting a new cornea has made me feel so lucky as it’s given me my life back, and in fact has given me a 2nd chance at life. But it’s the simplest of things that mean so much to me now….. being able to see out the window in the morning when I open the curtains; being able to see the tv while having breakfast; going back to having a small text font on my mobile phone; feeling more confident driving at night; being able to read projector screens at work and not having to get my colleagues to read them for me; no longer having to have a huge monitor on my desk at work; no longer having to hold books to my nose to read; and being able to get back to enjoying my hobby of playing the piano, as I’m no longer straining my eyes reading the music.

I’m also now slowly getting back into my exercise programme, and while i miss not being able to do any weights for the next few months it’s a very small sacrifice to make for being able to see again.

Thank you Mr Daya, thank you Centre for Sight/McIndoe Surgical Ward, but above all I thank the person that has given me my sight back.

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