Sight-saving staff help County married couple regain sight on same day - The Worcester Observer

Sight-saving staff help County married couple regain sight on same day

Worcester Editorial 17th Sep, 2023   0

A WORCESTERSHIRE husband and wife have shown those who see together stay together – having both had the same sight-saving surgeries on the same days by the same consultant.

In what may well be a national first, Doug and Gael Langdon beat all the odds by developing cataracts and needing surgery to rescue their vision at the same time.

The couple, who live in the village of Eckington and will celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary this October, had been told by their optician that they needed cataracts removing from their left and right eyes.

Cataracts are when the lens of a person’s eye develops cloudy patches.

Over time these patches usually become bigger, causing blurred vision and eventually blindness if untreated.

Doug and Gael were referred to Newmedica Worcester, where the clinic’s staff affectionately called them the Buy One Get One Free couple, even though their procedures were undertaken via the NHS.




Newmedica Worcester is assisting the NHS with its waiting lists, with the pandemic having caused a backlog of surgery for eye operations and other procedures.

Doug and Gael both had their left eyes operated on at Newmedica Worcester, and then they returned to the clinic seven weeks later to have their right eyes done.


Gael, who is 74, said: ‘We didn’t think we were a novelty until the staff mentioned it. People we know did ask us if it was sensible having the operations at the same time, but it was fine. We really weren’t inconvenienced in our lives.

“Everyone was so friendly at the clinic and they explained everything very clearly, so going for surgery was fine. There were no surprises, it was painless and it was all over so quickly.

“There wasn’t any real recuperation and Doug was driving after about four days.

“I hadn’t been able to drive for a year because of the cataracts, but I’m able to drive now.

“I read a lot and sew, so my sight is important to me. The difference to my sight now compared to before the surgeries is amazing.”

Health professionals advise that people have an eye test every two years or as often as their optician recommends, because serious conditions such as cataracts can be picked up early and treated before they get worse.

Doug, who is 75, added: ‘It was brilliant at the clinic and we were well prepared beforehand. After the procedure, the colours are so bright.

“I’d absolutely urge anyone who was nervous about having the surgery to have it done. It’s one day out of your life, it’s pain-free and quick, and it improves your life. If you leave it, your sight will deteriorate even more.”

The Newmedica Worcester eye-health clinic and surgical centre operates from the Berkeley Business Park and provides services for NHS and private patients.

Josh Raden, operational director at Newmedica Worcester, said: “Mr and Mrs Langdon were wonderful patients. I don’t know if they’re the first married couple of have the same cataract removals on the same days by the same consultant ophthalmolo-gist, but I’ve certainly not heard of it before.”

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