A BARNSLEY Hospital cancer nurse whose essential work was thrown into jeopardy when her eyesight rapidly deteriorated has praised a sight-saving clinic for enabling her to continue caring for chemotherapy patients.
June Brackenridge had to have cataract surgery having initially been diagnosed with the condition three years ago.
However, the rate at which the condition took hold led to fast-tracked surgery being needed.
She said that the surgery has made her vision better than ever, meaning she is free to continue monitoring the vital signs and overall wellbeing of cancer patients in and around Barnsley for years to come.
June said: “I first found out that I might need cataract surgery a few years ago during a routine check-up with my optician, but my condition was nowhere near advanced enough to require any further action at the time.
“At the beginning of this year I went for another routine eye test, where I was told my cataracts had worsened and that if they continued to deteriorate, I would no longer be able to drive.
“It was a big shock to me - the thought of my condition worsening was really scary.”
June was referred to Leeds-based Newmedica, where a specialist examined her and advised she should have lens replacement surgery on both eyes.
She added: “I was incredibly nervous when I found out I had to get surgery, but I knew it was something I had to do if I wanted to keep working and to be able to drive.
“Thankfully, the staff at Newmedica explained the whole process to me and really put me at ease, and I didn’t have to wait long between my consultation and the surgery.
“I had the procedure on one eye initially, then after my post-op assessment, my second eye was operated on.
“My recovery went very smoothly and my sight has been completely transformed.
“I don’t have to wear contact lenses or glasses at all now, which is fantastic.
“It also means I’m able to continue working, which is so important to me.
“I’d have been devastated if my sight had deteriorated enough to impact my work, so I’m really glad I acted quickly and had the procedure done at the earliest stage.”
June is now sharing her story to encourage others to think about their own eye health.
Since opening five years ago, Newmedica surgeons have performed 10,000 procedures have been carried out at the clinic, and the team has supported five trainee surgeons.
Steve Kirk, operations director, said: “We’re delighted that Mrs Brackenridge’s surgery has enabled her to return to what is a very important job, caring for those who need her valuable expertise.
“She’s also absolutely right about people having no need to be nervous about cataract surgery.
“With cataracts, the procedure is very quick, carried out under local anaesthetic via eyedrops while the patient is awake, and then we’ll give the patient a call the next day to make sure they’re okay, that their vision is returning and they’re happy with how to use the eyedrops.”