Like most 31 year olds, Kathy felt perfectly healthy. But unlike most women her age, Kathy has diabetes.
Kathy works at the United Nations. She underwent routine cataract surgery in her left eye. After this procedure, her ophthalmologist noticed hemorrhages in the retina of both eyes.
He immediately referred Kathy to Dr. Squillante, a board-certified retina specialist in New York City with more than 25 years of experience caring for the vision of diabetics.
After performing a thorough retinal exam on Kathy, including fluorescein angiography (special photos of the retina), Dr. Squillante diagnosed her with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, the most severe form of diabetic retinopathy.
Dr. Squillante began an aggressive laser treatment program in both of Kathy's eyes to prevent further damage to her vision. Kathy responded well to this treatment, which halted the progression of her diabetic eye disease.
This story would end here if Dr. Squillante had a typical factory-like medical practice. But he doesn't. Instead, Dr. Squillante observes a One Doctor, One Patient, One at a Time philosophy, which means he provides a level of personal care virtually nonexistent in today's healthcare system.
Getting back to our story, Kathy eventually needed cataract surgery in her right eye. When complications occurred, Dr. Squillante intervened and again saved her vision with a successful vitrectomy (to remove sight-blocking debris from her eye) and subsequent laser surgeries.
In the course of this treatment, Dr. Squillante noticed Kathy's dislike of her bifocal glasses -- required because of her cataract surgeries. He therefore suggested that Kathy pursue LASIK vision correction surgery so that she would need glasses only for reading, not for distance. Dr. Squillante not only referred her to one of the best LASIK practitioners in New York, but also accompanied Kathy to the appointment.
Kathy currently enjoys excellent eyesight, and continues to work at the United Nations. She has 20/25 vision in her right eye and 20/30 vision in her left eye. Her diabetic retinopathy is in remission and under control thanks to periodic visits to Dr. Squillante.
In an e-mail message to Dr. Squillante, Kathy wrote:
"You saved my eyesight. Without your super skills, I would probably be blind by now! I really hope that you know how grateful I am to you. Not only are you and your staff the nicest people in the world, but you are the greatest doctor in the world too.
"As you know, I referred the Ambassador for whom I work to you. Like me, he was very impressed with the level of care you provide. If ever I have to leave New York, you will definitely be the doctor I will miss the most. I will come back at least twice a year just to see you and make sure that my eyes are being cared for properly!"
Kathy's story has a happy ending, but if you or a loved one has diabetes, please do not wait until a problem occurs to seek help. Instead, by visiting Dr. Squillante for a complete retinal exam, you can catch diabetic retinopathy before it begins causing symptoms.