Gill Rosenberg met Russian cosmonauts linked to the International Space Station during an exciting career in business education development. When she retired, she put her skills to good use, developing and managing volunteering schemes at Spire Hospitals all over the country.
But as her eyesight deteriorated along with her quality of life, she sought out the expertise of consultant eye surgeon Milind Pande at Vision Surgery and Research Centre in East Yorkshire. Now, after undergoing surgery to correct her vision, Mrs Rosenberg is once more living a fast-paced, productive and busy life.
“When I say it was life-changing, it might sound a bit over-dramatic,” she says. “But I have so much less frustration in my life because I’m no longer delving into the bottom of a handbag looking for my glasses or spending my time searching for my glasses because I can’t remember where I’ve left them. I adjust to each situation throughout the day with much more ease and calmness so the quality of my life has improved dramatically.”
Mrs Rosenberg, the wife of a former district judge and mother of two sons, started her career as an artist working in sculpture and becoming an art teacher. But for 25 years, she worked in business development, latterly for a university centre, securing European funding to develop projects improving education for thousands of children all over Yorkshire. One of her projects involved bringing cosmonauts to the UK to work with 2,000 school children to promote the benefits of science, technology, engineering and maths.
“I remember chatting to one of the cosmonauts and he took a call from his son on the International Space Station on his mobile while we were in the room,” she said. “It was mind-blowing.”
Retiring four years ago, Mrs Rosenberg established volunteering schemes at Spire Hospitals across Yorkshire, encouraging people with an interest in the health sector to support patients about to undergo surgery, or recovering from illness, and to carry out administrative tasks to assist nursing staff. Following the success of this project, it was embraced by other Spire hospitals across the country which Gill manages. But her failing eye sight was becoming a problem and she was forced to rely on two pairs of glasses for close work and, latterly, for driving and distance.
“I remember once coming out to my car to find someone had placed my glasses on my windscreen after they had fallen out of my bag,” she said. “One of my sons has six children and it became a bit of a standing joke that Grandma was always saying ‘Children, I need you to help me find my glasses.’”
Aware of Mr Pande’s global reputation for excellence in the field of corrective eye surgery, she had bespoke replacement lenses fitted to give her optimum vision. Mrs Rosenberg, who lives in an East Yorkshire village outside Hull, underwent surgery on her first eye in June followed by surgery on the second eye a month later.
“The ‘miracle’ point for me was after the second operation when I woke up the next morning and everything was so bright and clear,” she said. “My eyesight is improving every single day and it’s only now I realise I had quite poor vision.”
Mr Pande said age-related deterioration first becomes a clinical problem in the early 40s when people need reading glasses. “With the crystalline lens, which works as a zoom lens, the first sign of age-related deterioration is when that zoom function fails and, instead of working like a zoom lens, it becomes stuck in the distance so the eye cannot change focus from distance to near vision,” he said.
“If you then wait another 20 years for it to deteriorate further, not only is the zoom function lost, the lens becomes cloudy and a cataract forms.” Replacement lenses last up to 50 years so anyone undergoing Lens Replacement Surgery will never need a cataract operation. Rather than wait to enjoy the benefits of spectacle-free vision, people know that if they have it done while the rest of their health is good, they can enjoy it more,” Mr Pande said. “It is bringing forward their cataract operation which they are going to need anyway in 10 to 15 years.”
Mrs Rosenberg said she would have no hesitation recommending Vision Surgery and Research Centre. She said: “I remembering thinking this is my sight I was putting in Mr Pande’s hands but his utter professionalism counteracted any fears I had.”
“I would say to anyone considering it for the same reasons I did, you just have to do it.”
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