A KEIGHLEY nurse has paid glowing tribute to fellow healthcare professionals after undergoing successful sight-changing surgery.

Jane Hill was diagnosed with congenital cataracts after a severe deterioration in her eyesight.

Now the 54-year-old is enjoying a new lease of life following an operation at Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire, in Bradford.

Jane – who works for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust – had been wearing reading glasses for four years, but her vision suddenly took a turn for the worse.

The problem became more pronounced when lockdown began.

“As was the case with so many people I started doing a lot of meetings via Zoom – and I could not read other people’s presentations on the screen,” said Jane.

“Even with my reading glasses, I was having to sit nearer and nearer the computer. At first I thought my glasses just needed a clean, but it felt as though I had a film over my eye.

“I got in touch with my optician. I was so worried there was something seriously wrong, as I just could not see out of my eye one morning. I felt very vulnerable and disoriented.”

Following tests, she was found to have congenital cataracts.

Jane describes her treatment at Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire as “fantastic”.

She had been referred immediately for NHS treatment. And surgery took place just four weeks after her pre-op.

“The staff were really lovely,” said Jane.

“The nurses put you at ease. I personally don’t like anyone touching my eyes – I was OK until I went into theatre, but then I started to shake! One of the nurses held my hand and the surgeon was so reassuring, talking me through every little bit of it to calm me down. I felt so reassured. The surgery was quick and there was no pain.”

She said the difference to her sight afterwards was incredible.

“When I got back to my office I noticed the pink walls and thought they had been painted – but they hadn’t,” she said. “I had always seen them as grey! It is like someone has turned the brightness and colour up on the TV – I am really loving the colours in my garden now and had not realised how much my vision had deteriorated.”

Her surgeon, Dr John Buchan, said: “Losing vision with cataract at any age can be difficult, but with congenital cataracts causing sight loss in children or adults of working age the impact can be significant – and the unexpected nature of it upsetting. It is always a pleasure to restore sight to any patient, but to help a fellow healthcare professional get back to full function on the frontline of NHS work was particularly pleasing.”