He had struggled with poor vision for more than seven decades.
When Adrian Wood, 71, developed cataracts as a result of Type 2 diabetes, he knew the time had come to act.
But his high prescription of minus 22 and minus 25 meant his case was so complex, he needed the best treatment from an expert in the field of vision correction surgery.
Now, thanks to renowned consultant eye surgeon Milind Pande, medical director of Vision Surgery and Research Centre in East Yorkshire, Mr Wood can see clearly for the first time in his life.
“It is life-changing, absolutely,” Mr Wood said. “When I first had it done and could see clearly, I was so elated and happy.
“My vision is now perfect. I can see from three feet all the way to the sun.”
Mr Wood had worn glasses from the age of three and remembers how his poor vision affected many aspects of his life from the outset, including restricting his ability to play sport.
“At school, we had to sit in alphabetical order and with my surname, I had to sit right at the back and couldn’t see the blackboard,” he said.
He switched to contact lenses at the age of 18 and managed well.
However, his vision would get in the way of his woodworking hobby when dirt and dust would get under his lenses, scratching his eyes.
“It was absolutely excruciating and I’d have to stop, put my glasses on and wait for hours before I could start again,” Mr Wood said.
Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes around five years ago, Mr Wood, a chartered accountant, went for regular eye tests and was warned he may develop cataracts earlier than most people.
At his last appointment with his optician, Mr Wood, who retired from his business around 18 months ago but still maintained a few clients based in Hull and Beverley, learned that cataracts had formed to such a degree that he would no longer be able to drive.
Living in the coastal village of Mappleton, this was the final straw and he was determined to tackle his vision once and for all to maintain his independence.
“I need to drive because I still have some clients whom I see for half a day each week,” he said. “The village where we live is really very isolated so if you need to go to the shops or the doctors, you need to be able to drive.”
Mr Pande and Vision Surgery and Research Centre came highly recommended and Mr Wood set off for his appointment at Spire Hospital in Anlaby.
Mr Wood said: “When I saw Mr Pande, he was very reassuring and calm. He was matter of fact and told me right away that I had very special eyes. In fact, he told me my eyes were unique.”
With such a high prescription, Mr Pande had to source bespoke lenses for Mr Wood to replace his existing lenses, removing the problem of the cataracts and correcting his vision at the same time.
Mr Pande said: “It is possible, even when patients have very high prescriptions, to correct it at the same time as removing the cataracts.
“The results are dramatic for someone like Mr Wood, who has been unable to see without the use of glasses for such a long time.”
Mr Wood was astounded to discover he could read car registration plates from some distance away around half an hour after surgery as he was driven home.
His vision has continued to improve and his prescription is now minus 0.25 in one eye and minus 0.5 in the other.
He now enjoys his woodwork hobby to the full without any risk of dust scratching his lenses, and is looking forward to travelling to Canada with wife Helen to see their 20 month-old grand-daughter Isabella for Christmas.
“I have a pair of glasses I use for driving and one for reading but I can live with that,” he said. “There has been a remarkable improvement.
“My message to anyone considering surgery is quite simply this – don’t hesitate. I wish I’d done it when I was 18.”
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