AVC Helps Heroes – free laser eye surgery for injured servicemen and their families helps brighten their future

The ability to give someone the gift of perfect vision is a powerful tool, something that we at AVC are very aware of every day – we never take it for granted. We wanted to share this privileged position with those who deserve to be given something back for the sacrifices they have made in their working life and that’s why we contacted Help for Heroes.

Through Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters, who offer support and opportunities for servicemen and women who have suffered life-changing injuries or illness during active service since 2001, we extended a hand to them and their families by offering free laser eye treatment.

On Saturday 13 July Heather Ell and Julie Eaglesham, who are both full time carers for their partners who have been injured whilst serving in Afghanistan, came to AVC for IntraLase LASIK Wavefront laser eye surgery treatment.

Julie, 29, from Taunton and Heather, 22, from Bolton, are facing very different futures to what they were expecting after their partners were injured whilst serving in Afghanistan this year. Heather’s fiancé Matthew Ward suffered a prolapsed disc whilst training and is expected to be confined to a wheelchair in a few years’ time; and Julie’s husband Philip contracted acute Q fever, a bacterial infection that affects the lungs, heart and liver, as a result of an injury. He requires long-term treatment with antibiotics and is due to be discharged at the end of this year as a result. After his discharge Philip will also be having free IntraLase LASIK Wavefront treatment at AVC.

“The reason why we contacted Help for Heroes was that we simply wanted to give something back,” said AVC’s medical director Mr CT Pillai. “Our injured service men and women live with such debilitating conditions and there is nothing that we can do about that, but what we can do is transform their poor eyesight.

“The words we hear most from our patients after their treatment is “life changing”. We realised how easily we could make a big difference to those who really deserve a helping hand.

“Julie and Heather’s lives have been turned upside down by what’s happened to their partners. Nothing can turn the clock back but at least we have been able to lighten their load a little by banishing the inconvenience of glasses and contact lenses and giving them a future of brilliant sharp vision.”

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