For Patients

A Changed World

Patient: Rhonda Bonneville
Diagnosis: complications post-surgery
Sight Restored: 2014

One day in 2011, Rhonda Bonneville’s world changed when she realized that she could no longer clearly see her computer screen at work. Shortly afterwards, she began experiencing eye pain. She ordered a new pair of prescription glasses during an appointment with her local optometrist, but by the time her glasses were ready, her vision had changed and they were useless.

BostonSight patient Rhonda

In disbelief, her doctor performed another eye exam and was astonished that the results were completely different than the exam just days before. Over the next several weeks he performed multiple exams – in one day alone she had eight different test results. Finally, a visit to the ophthalmologist revealed that Rhonda’s visual fluctuations were a result of long-term complications of a radial keratotomy surgery (to correct nearsightedness) more than 20 years ago. “He told me that I was losing my vision and there was no way to tell how far it would progress,” said Rhonda.

As her vision and eye pain worsened, Rhonda also experienced some catastrophic losses – her job, her health insurance, her pet and her house, which added to her growing depression.  She sought help from multiple eye doctors. “I was told that I would always have to wear glasses over any type of lens they gave me. They said I would never drive again.” She tried many types of lenses, but due to her distorted corneas and very dry eyes, they caused her pain and blurred her vision.

Her numerous medical appointments were complicated by the fact that, due to her declining vision, she could not drive. Luckily, she had help. “I have a great group of friends. My friend Jessica drove me back and forth to medical appointments in Boston and paid for my meals. Other friends were similarly generous.” A veteran of the Armed Forces, Rhonda eventually activated her military benefits and began receiving treatment at the VA Boston Healthcare System; the VA provided transportation.

Finally, someone suggested BostonSight® PROSE treatment. Rhonda was skeptical.  “After all the lenses I tried, including sclerals, what could this place offer that would be so different?” Little did she know that her world was about to change again.

When Rhonda met Chirag Patel, OD, at Boston Foundation for Sight, he told her that much of what she had been told by other doctors was wrong. “Dr. Patel said I would be able to wear just prosthetic devices, without glasses, and I would be able to drive. And he said I wouldn’t be in pain anymore.”

And to her amazement, he was right.

Today Rhonda wears her PROSE devices up to 16 hours a day, and can drive during daylight hours. Her unrelenting eye pain is gone. As she adjusts to life without frequent trips to the eye doctor, Rhonda can now focus on making decisions about her life and what she will do in the years to come. As she ponders her future, Rhonda is grateful for being able to have options, thanks to the restored vision and improved quality of life provided by PROSE treatment.