A Local Artist’s Vision is Restored at Ketchum Health
A little over a year ago, Pat Edep found herself completely unable to paint anything. The once-prolific, award-winning artist had battled a case of shingles, and the disease went into her eye, ruining the vision in that eye and damaging her ability to focus. While she was able to slowly work with an ophthalmologist to get some function back, her peripheral vision was gone, making it virtually impossible for Pat to see canvas and brush.
Suffering from not just the loss of vision, but also her life’s passion, Pat did not at first know where to turn, and it seemed like she might never regain her vision without facing the need for surgical intervention. That’s when her eye doctor referred her to The University Eye Center at Ketchum Health. Through the invested and knowledgeable care of SCCO doctors and residents, Pat was able to regain sufficient use of her vision without having to undergo surgery on her eye.
“Whether stemming from a severe eye infection, traumatic injury or a hereditary corneal disorder, many patients like Pat may have no choice but to pursue surgical intervention in order to improve their vision,” says Dr. Jessica Liaw, who treated Pat and was formerly the Cornea & Contact Lens resident at MBKU. “Optometrists hold a distinctive role in their expertise to excel in specialty contact lens fitting and rehabilitate a patient’s vision as an option before surgical intervention. At Ketchum Health, our optometrists are not only equipped to expertly manage and treat individuals dealing with intricate refractive and corneal conditions, but are also devoted to imparting their knowledge and expertise to train the next generation of optometrists to excel in this vital field.”
Through patience, expertise and some trial-and-error, Ketchum Health doctors were able to fit Pat with a custom contact lens that restored the vision in her damaged eye. “It was like a light being turned on for me,” Pat recalls. “For the first time in nearly two years, I was able to see the work again! I was able to paint again. When they put that lens in my eye, to get that vision back – it was like a miracle.”
A JOY RESTORED
Since then, Pat has been painting regularly, preparing for a show in the fall of 2023. Her work covers a wide a range of subjects, including landscapes, still lifes and an extensive series of large cats, in which their strength and majesty is juxtaposed keenly with the means by which their species is most endangered. Pat couldn’t be happier. “It’s my joy,” she says. “I can see the brush hit the canvas again, and I am so thankful for the quality of health care I received at Ketchum Health, as well as the empathy they demonstrated for me throughout the process.”
It was Pat’s joy and gratitude that stood out to SCCO Associate Professor Dawn Lam when they were introduced after Pat’s successful treatment, and Dr. Lam saw the story as one more genuine indicator that MBKU is affecting lives in truly positive ways. “Our faculty are knowledgeable and well-trained in a wide range of lens designs, and thus, this treatment was very well-suited for Pat Edep,” she says. “As a health care provider, it’s always rewarding to have someone tell us we have made an impact in their lives. Pat was very enthusiastic about how she can now return to her art and her activities of daily living, and we couldn’t be happier for her.”