Date: 10 January 2014

Thirty-nine year-old Marc Edmondson has been a type 1 diabetic since the age of five.  Having managed his disease steadily over the years, he never thought it would end up affecting his vision and therefore risking his successful career as an architect, but in 2010 that was just what happened.

When Marc started experiencing distorted vision and problems with depth of perception a couple of years ago, he was immensely concerned. As an architect, he needed razor-sharp eyesight to focus on digital drawings, and for perfect attention to detail.

Marc went straight to his GP, who arranged for him to see a specialist. The cause of his loss in vision was diagnosed as diabetic retinopathy, which is a result of diabetes and can eventually lead to blindness. Very worried, Marc saw a specialist and a few weeks later he underwent laser surgery, which initially showed good results.

However, in late 2012 Marc again began noticing a loss of vision and problems with depth of perception in his left eye. Obviously once again concerned and worried his career was at risk; he decided to see Mr Alastair Laidlaw, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The London Clinic. Mr Laidlaw found that Marc’s vision issues were caused by scar tissue membranes pulling on the retina, which was a result of the diabetic retinopathy.  The effect was like the film being crumpled in a camera.

Several weeks later Mr Laidlaw performed complex intraocular microsurgery on Marc’s left eye to relieve the pulling and distortion of the retina. Mr Laidlaw says: “This procedure involved working inside Mr Edmondson’s eye to remove the contracting membranes on the surface of the retina, allowing it to relax back into the correct position.” 

Unfortunately, throughout this time Marc began to experience similar issues with his right eye, along with severe retinal detachment, where the retina starts to peel away from the underlying tissue. To add to his vision issues, this same eye had also developed a cataract. By this stage Marc was very distressed. “I was wondering when it was going to end, all I wanted was to be able to drive a car and carry on with the work that I love,” he says.

However, Marc felt comforted and confident that he was in safe hands with Mr Laidlaw. The decision was made for Mr Laidlaw to conduct two complex microsurgical procedures within the back of the right eye, as well as cataract surgery which involved an exchange of Marc’s fogged lens for a clear lens implant.

Having undergone his final procedure in February 2013, Marc is doing well. His eyes have been successfully treated, most of his vision has been restored and he is once again able to legally drive a car. Remarkably, Marc was back at work in his architectural studio within four working days of each operation and is now able to focus on concepts of light, space and perspective. 

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“If it wasn’t for Mr Laidlaw, I would not have been able to carry on with my job,” Marc says. “I can now go about my work as normal, which is a huge relief.  He saved my vision, and my career.”

Marc’s message to the public is: “Make sure you get your eyes tested regularly and ask to see as specialist if you are concerned. Your eyesight is so precious and important, as it affects everything you do.”

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