“I was diagnosed with glaucoma when I was about 30 years old – it was a lucky fluke as I had no reason at all to even think about Glaucoma. I had never heard of it, no family members had it and I did not wear prescription glasses.

I accompanied a good friend visiting his Ophthalmologist and he suggested he check my eyes. To my great surprise, I was told to go straight to Wellington hospital without delay. After many tests, I was eventually diagnosed with glaucoma and was told that I would need an operation on both eyes to prevent going blind within 5 years.

That was the beginning. I had a trabeculectomy operation on both eyes and so my journey began with many more hospital visits including repair jobs on the blebs, multiple infections and so forth. I am sure there is a big fat file on my eyes somewhere in Greenlane Hospital – there are too many hair raising incidents to recount but here I am today, now at 69 years old. I am still with a reasonable amount of sight that I can do most things I enjoy, and thanks to the experts, doctors and surgeons who have worked on my eyes over the years for which I am so grateful to. I was able to continue with my career in the fashion design business which involved lots of travel overseas and later in a travel business with which I am still involved.

Unfortunately, I have recently been diagnosed with end-stage glaucoma and hope that the end-stage doesn’t come too soon.

How has it been? I just did what was required to be done. At times I have been more than a little stressed and in certain instances very anxious and even fearful. I certainly encourage everyone to get their eyes tested as early as possible so that glaucoma can be picked up early and treatment started straight away to prevent unnecessary vision loss.

I consider myself lucky to have got this far and can still see heaps. Thank you to all who work at Glaucoma NZ.”


by Sarah Kedgley

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