On 12th December 2009 I flew to America to visit my daughter. I had mentioned to her that I was concerned about my vision. I was struggling to drive my eyesight was so poor, but my optometrist had signed me off as fit to have my licence renewed - I was frightened to get behind the wheel and felt sure there was something wrong.
On 15th December my daughter said she was taking me on a suprise day trip - we went to her optometrist! She was a lovely lady who said she could see the signs of macular degeneration, and referred me to an ophthomologist called Mr Wong. He recommended we start treatment immediately, and I had Avastin injections in each eye. I went to see him again on 15th January 2010, just before I left, for another set of injections, and he gave me a letter to pass on to my GP.
Back in Invercargill, I went to my local clinic and began getting regular injections. The improvement in my vision was incredible. Now I don't need to wear glasses at all - except to drive for legal reasons. I live in the bay in Riverton and I can look right across the bay, it's about a mile, and clearly see the waves crashing on the other side.
When people hear you are having injections in your eyes they recoil, but you don’t feel a thing. You don’t need to be afraid. the difference it makes is incredible.
My advice to people is to eat well, take your vitamins, use your Amsler grid and wear sunglasses. And if you go to the optometrist and you are not happy with what they tell you, get a second opinion. Dr Wong told me if I hadn't seen him and started treatment when I did, I would have been blind in a year. It doesn't hurt to get things checked a second time.