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Eye Doctor Pushes for One Last-Minute Elective Surgery

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On Thursday, Governor Reynolds expanded her disaster declaration order to halt elective, non-essential surgeries. But one local eye doctor pushed to have just one of his patients go under the knife.

“Can you imagine a person walking around with those on their face?” 63-year-old Veva Larkin said about her multiple pairs of thick-lensed glasses.

“The one pair there I had back when I was in high school and the other pair probably when I was in junior high,” Larkin said.

Larkin’s prescription is -30, something even eye doctors are baffled by.

“She’s very rare probably one out of 10 or 20,000 would be as nearsighted as she is,” Dr. James Davison from Wolfe Clinic said.

It was after she developed cataracts in both eyes that her vision got worse and she needed surgery. Dr. Davison performed surgery on her right eye at the beginning of the month and had the left eye scheduled for the end.

“She had one foot in the boat and one foot on the dock, really tough to get along that way, really tough to walk, to drive, go down a stairway, anything like that,” Dr. Davison said.

But then Governor Reynolds expanded her disaster declaration order to halt elective, non-essential surgeries.

“It’s elective in a sense because from an eye surgeon’s standpoint if you want to see, and you can’t see well, you can’t drive, you can’t see the television, you can’t read the computer, that’s kind of urgent I would say,” Dr. Davison said.

Dr. Davison tried to get approval from their medical committee.

“I said please can we get at least these done and they said fine let’s do those on Friday morning,” Dr. Davison said.

“When they called and said that they would go ahead and do it I said you know what, now I feel special,” Larkin said.

Now after the surgery, Larkin’s world has been changed again.

“It’s a game changer, it’s one where mentally, emotionally, projecting life from this point on is going to be surmountable because I’ve not had this level of experience of hope of where I can feel as though I can be more normalized instead of being the one standing up and saying you’re not,” Larkins said.

Governor Reynolds said suspending elective surgeries will help the state preserve the protective equipment as well as health care workers.


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