The Gift of Sight from Denver Health
About three years ago David Moneypenny noticed that his eyesight was changing. The now 52-year-old was experiencing such extreme double vision that he decided he shouldn’t even drive anymore.
“I was worried I would hit someone,” he explains. “I was seeing two of everything in the distance. If I really focused hard, I could tell which was real, but my sight was bad.”
He lives with his 32-year-old daughter who is a teacher at East High School and who he raised as a single parent. He has a disability and can’t work regularly. As a result of his work situation, he doesn’t have medical coverage or steady work. With his eyesight continuing to deteriorate, he knew he had to do something and saved $600 from an odd job so he could have his eyes checked
“I went to an optometrist I’d used about 10 years prior to that first visit,” David says. “He did a quick exam and prescribed some glasses. I gave it a few days, but my vision just kept getting worse.”
David went to the optometrist three times and within two weeks he had three different prescriptions that didn’t work, and he had spent the money he had saved.
“I volunteer at beer festivals as a supervisor of set-up and tear-down,” David says. “As a supervisor, I have to be able to read instructions, and that was becoming a problem. I thought I was going to be blind in my right eye. I joked about becoming a pirate, but I was scared.”
David told an acquaintance, an ophthalmologist, about his concerns, and the physician agreed to do a more thorough exam. The diagnosis was choroiditis, an inflammation of a layer of the retina of his right eye. Treatment would require special medication or retinal surgery, so the ophthalmologist sent him to Hugo Quiroz-Mercado, MD, an ophthalmologist at Denver Health who specializes retinal diseases and retina surgery.
Although David had no ability to pay for the care, Dr. Quiroz-Mercado and the eye clinic staff gave David some of the best eye care available. Initially, Avastin was injected into David’s retina to reduce inflammation, but his sight did not improve. After two injections and no improvement, Dr. Quiroz-Mercado decided to perform surgery to remove the inflamed layer of tissue. The day after surgery in December of 2011, David’s sight was already improving. His sight was 20/70, and by September of 2012, it was 20/20.
“I still notice some differences when I look at objects, but now I can see again,” David says. “I realize how easy it is to take something like being able to see for granted. I’m grateful that the people at Denver Health could help me because no other place would even consider doing this for me.”