Dancing to Vintage Vinyl
Patient: Mark Fleck
Sight Restored: January 2010
Dear Boston Foundation for Sight Staff,
My wife of almost 30 years, Georgiann, is a constant companion and we share our lives in everything we do. Our life may seem simple to some but to us it is very full and enjoyable. I operate two businesses. We have a maple sugar grove with 200 taps set the old fashioned way with buckets and spiles. We love to ice fish, cook, cruise in our antique trucks, haunt yard sales, walk through the woods looking at wildlife, and spend time at our remote camp.
In 2002, I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called myelodysplasia (MDS) and was told that without a bone marrow transplant I would have six months to live. Needless to say, I chose to have the procedure. However, after the surgery, I lived in constant pain due to severe dry eye syndrome, a common side effect which took away so much of the beauty around me that I enjoyed so much.
In December of 2009 I had a flare-up which debilitated me to the point that I did not dare drive. Even the lights from the TV hurt so badly. The only thing I could do was lie on the couch with compresses on my eyes to ease some of the pain. I became so depressed that I was ready to take my own life. Desperate to get me help, my wife contacted my transplant nurse, who immediately arranged for me to travel to Massachusetts for BostonSight® PROSE treatment.
Just five days later we traveled from our home in Bridgton, Maine to Needham, which takes about four hours each way on the interstate. The first time we got lost. The second time I plowed snow all night. This is quite a trip for us seeing as we come from a town with one traffic light.
Arriving back home I got to wear the devices all day for the first time. At 5:30 that night I was in the kitchen with my beautiful wife, cooking over a glass of wine and dancing to vintage vinyl. We were twirling each other, hugging and laughing. And I was pain free thanks to PROSE!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
- Mark Fleck
p.s. Before finding BFS, a bright spot in my life was the adoption of our beloved pet, Minnie May, based on the counsel of my oncologist to help me cope with the stress of the cancer. My doctor was surprised to learn that instead of a puppy or kitten, we brought home an adorable “kid” (a pigmy goat, that is!) We were even more surprised when we found out that Minnie May was really a boy!
"Mark had lost all hope by the time he arrived at our door. As a doctor, it is such a powerful moment to insert a device for the first time and immediately eliminate the pain that these survivors endure.” - Dr. Lynette Johns