Off the Couch and on with Life
Patient: Joe Martini
Diagnosis: dry eye and corneal scarring
Sight Restored: 2011
Joe Martini was born with amblyopia (a lazy eye) in his right eye and relied on his near-sighted left eye for everything. Unfortunately, about 20 years ago, Joe was involved in an accident when a deer ran into his car. This left Joe with a lacerated cornea, a detached retina and severe dry eye – all in his “good” eye. Because of his dry eye and corneal scarring caused by the laceration, prescription glasses could not properly correct his vision and he became reliant on gas permeable hard contact lenses to see.
This was a viable solution until 2011, when Joe’s eyes became so dry that he could no longer wear his lenses. Without them, his vision was severely limited. “I was a couch potato,” said Joe. “I couldn’t drive, watch TV, or read. The thought of having to face life with virtually no functional vision was frightening. I was desperate, grasping at straws. Thank God my ophthalmologist, Dr. Jonathan Ditkoff, discovered Boston Foundation for Sight (BFS). He did some research, submitted my case to BFS for review and I was accepted as a patient.” Joe travelled to Boston in July 2011.
“My initial visit to BFS was a remarkable experience,” said Joe. “At first, I was nervous because the treatment process is tedious and they couldn’t perfect my vision right away, but meeting people in the waiting room from all over the world, with so many serious eye conditions, gave me confidence that they would get it right.”
“I was assigned to Dr. Kwok, a true professional, who was and continues to be very caring, concerned, precise and patient. I feel fortunate knowing that he is there to care for me.” Dr. Kwok used BFS’s unique, proprietary CAD-CAM software to customize a prosthetic device to precisely fit Joe’s eye, vaulting over the damaged cornea and resting on the white of the eye. After seven days of BostonSight® PROSE treatment, Joe returned home to New Jersey with his new PROSE devices.
Joe credits PROSE treatment for being able to live a normal and fulfilling life. “No question, if it wasn’t for BFS, my lifestyle would certainly not be what it is today. PROSE has virtually changed
my life. I can function again, and my vision is much better than it ever was with hard contact lenses. After months of depending on others for everything, PROSE treatment has restored my independence.”
Joe, a warm and gregarious man, is very grateful for his restored sight. Knowing that donations help BFS provide financial assistance to those who need treatment, he generously supports the Foundation and their important work. He is committed to helping other patients regain their lives – as he has.