Sight-saving surgery means sprightly 82-year-old Bob Armstrong has no intention of retiring.
Fast-developing cataracts had left him facing the possibility of his ever-deteriorating vision stopping him from working with his son at their family company, which sells, designs and installs kitchens.
His concern was compounded by the fact that the pandemic has caused a backlog of surgery waiting lists for eye operations and other procedures on the NHS.
However, Bob was told that Newmedica was opening a new eye clinic in Plymouth and assisting the NHS with its waiting lists.
This gave him a quick-fire chance to have his cataracts removed so he could carry on keeping busy.
Bob, from Tavistock, jumped at the chance, despite initial apprehension about having the operation, and within a few weeks he became the clinic’s first-ever patient when he had the cataract removed from his right eye.
He said: ‘People are waiting a long time for the operation, but mine was done straightaway on the NHS. It’s incredible.
‘I was nervous beforehand. A lot of people told me it doesn’t hurt, but having your eye operated on isn’t something anyone would want.
‘However, what they did was quite incredible. It’s mind-boggling. You don’t feel anything. It really does change your life.’
The opening of Newmedica Plymouth eye health clinic and surgical centre resulted in the creation of 24 jobs, with the aim of offering greater choice to patients.
Bob, a lifetime fan of motorbike racing, added: ‘I really can’t praise them enough. What they’ve done has enabled me to keep driving, which I enjoy and is really important to me. It means I can keep my independence.
‘I first noticed my sight wasn’t right when I was watching the MotoGP on the television and I couldn’t read the numbers down the side of the screen. Now I’ll be able to see the television properly and do everything else normally.
‘I’d certainly urge anyone else needing a cataract operation to go for it. You really don’t feel what they’re doing, and the difference it makes is incredible.’
Newmedica Plymouth provides NHS and private treatment for cataract surgery and aftercare, and also offers YAG laser treatment (a treatment used after cataract surgery). There are plans to offer additional services in the future.
Bob will be returning there in six weeks’ time to have the cataract on his left eye removed.
Operational director Amanda Worley said: ‘Mr Armstrong is an active man who wanted to continue being active, so to hear about his positive experience with us is wonderful.
‘Testimonies like his show that although many people may fear such an operation, the reality isn’t frightening at all and can make such a significant difference to their lives.’
For further information about Newmedica Plymouth’s, call 01752 421622 or go online at https://www.newmedica.co.uk/clinics/plymouth
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