Making A Visible Difference
My Story: Stella Chandler
August 2013 | Manchester, United Kingdom
The first person in the world to have a revolutionary, one-time radiotherapy treatment in both eyes is delighted with the resultant improvement in her vision and reduction in anti-VEGF injections.
An accountant, whose sight loss due to wet AMD in both eyes forced her to retire earlier than she wished, has become the first person in the world to have Oraya Therapy in both eyes.
Stella Chandler says she is “delighted” with the Oraya treatment in her first treated left eye. Before the treatment, which took place in September 2012 at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, as part of a clinical trial, Mrs. Chandler could only read 38 characters on the eye chart, and now, using that one eye, she can read more than 60 characters.
She also has clearer, crisper vision in the first treated left eye following the Oraya treatment, helping her to enjoy her main hobbies of reading and theater going.
Her right eye was treated at Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital in June 2013. Mrs. Chandler was even more pleased that she needed no anti-VEGF injections in either eye at her second monthly follow up appointment in August 2013, following the treatment on the second eye.
Overall, the number of injections she has needed in the first treated left eye has reduced markedly. Out of ten visits to the hospital since her first Oraya Therapy treatment in 2012, Mrs. Chandler has needed only three injections in the first treated eye, instead of the expected ten.
Mrs. Chandler explains that the injections, essential to treat wet AMD and offered free on the NHS in the UK to patients with wet AMD, are deeply unpleasant. “Imagine what it would be like if somebody went to jab a finger in your eye; you’d immediately recoil.
“First, you have an iodine wash which really smarts. Then, you are lying there and you have your eyelids held open with a butterfly plaster; you’re lying flat and you see the needle coming towards you. They numb your eye but you feel the pressure as the needle goes in. You feel shell-shocked; you can’t stand the light.
“While I am very grateful that I have had the anti-VEGF injections – and I know that they are sight saving for thousands of people – I personally find them deeply unpleasant.
“It’s so unpleasant that my family say they can tell when I am due to go to the Manchester Royal because I am so uptight about it for about a week before. I get so worked up in my attitude – when you don’t need the injections, it’s like a holiday.” (Download a copy of Stella’s story.)