A retired electrician from Cardonald can watch his five grandchildren grow up thanks to a sight-saving procedure performed at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.
John MacDonald, 73, suffers from macular edema as a result of type 1 diabetes.
Without treatment, his eyesight would deteriorate rapidly, but thankfully, with regular intravitreal injections (IVTs) at QEUH, he was able to maintain his vision so he could spend time with his three children and five young grandchildren.
IVT is a crucial lifeline for thousands of people living in the West of Scotland with a range of degenerative eye conditions. Without the treatment, many would go blind or, at the very least, cause irreparable damage to their sight.
It has been offered in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) for a number of years and has been one of the services the team have been able to ensure remains in place throughout the pandemic.
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For John, this has been particularly important as he has already lost most of the sight in one eye. Regular injections about every five weeks have helped him maintain good quality vision in his other eye.
John said: “I have type 1 diabetes which affects my eyesight and unfortunately I can’t see particularly well in one eye so it’s very important to me to protect the sight in my other eye.
“Without my injections, I wouldn’t be able to see my grandchildren grow up, which is the most important thing for me.
“The hospital teams have been fantastic throughout the period. At one point I was moved to New Victoria due to the pandemic but that was no problem – nurses Arlene Rodgers and Lorraine Shields were wonderful. I was in and out within 20 minutes and despite the pandemic my treatment still continued as normal.
Senior Ophthalmology Nurse Arlene Rodgers helped launch the IVT service across the NHSGGC which now offers over 2000 procedures per month. Arlene commented: “We recognize the importance of IVT for our patients. The impact it has on the quality of life for many people is enormous, and we are proud that we have been able to maintain the service during the pandemic.
“We are currently training more ophthalmic nurses to administer the treatment, so we hope to be able to further increase the number we can perform across the board of health in the coming months.”