For Patients

Green Eyes and Blue Skies

Patient: John Yorke
Diagnosis: post-surgical dry eye
Sight Restored: July 2011

John Yorke is a survivor. Living with AIDS for over 30 years, he believes that many angels have come into his life to help him along the way.

AIDS, and the medications used to manage it, take a severe toll on the body’s immune system.  Facial wasting, a localized loss of fat around the cheeks and eyes, is one of the more stigmatizing complications for long-term survivors, making them appear very gaunt and seriously ill. Four years ago, John sought treatment to correct this problem: “It was meant to improve the quality of my life. Sadly, it was not to be.” 

After two excruciating surgeries he was left with severe dry eye and in constant pain, wondering where he had found the courage to deal with AIDS, “and where I would now find the courage to deal with the pain as I looked at the world through broken glass.”

Over the next four years, John fell into a deep depression; crying (knowing it only made the pain worse), shutting himself away in the dark, and losing friends because he was “such bad company.” He saw eye doctor after doctor, unable to find relief. Equally shattering, many of the doctors simply dismissed him. But as bad as it got, John never gave up hope completely: “Living with AIDS taught me that.”
 
One day by sheer coincidence (“I did say I believe in angels”) he stumbled upon Boston Foundation for Sight. Little did he know when he called the number on his computer screen that his life was about to change: “That’s how I found the Doheny Eye Center, my PROSE doctor, Dr. Gloria Chiu, and the many kind people who work there.”

With his first trial devices in place, John walked outside the clinic and lay down on a nearby bench. Looking up at the clear blue Southern California sky, his beautiful green eyes filled with wonder, he knew he had finally found what he was searching for. “Without the many people who have been so kind and generous, I would not have gotten my eyes back. I will be truly grateful for the rest of my life.”

“John is an amazing person, and I’m so glad that he found our PROSE clinic at Doheny.  It was such a joy to work with him and I’m thrilled to hear that his quality of life has changed for the better.”
- Dr. Gloria Chiu

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