I first started coming to Sixteenth Street 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my son back in 2009. After my son was born, Sixteenth Street became my clinic. In one of my check-ups, I was told I was pre-diabetic. The doctor began to run some tests, and she saw that one of my eyes was losing sight. Since I wear glasses, I thought that it was because my prescription was outdated.
Typically, when someone is diagnosed with diabetes, one of the first things to become affected are your eyes, but as my doctor took a closer look, she realized it was more serious. I was diagnosed with a progressive eye disease called Keratoconus. My cornea was bulging into a cone-like shape that was affecting my sight to the point where I could no longer see out of my eye. My doctor told me I needed a cornea transplant, but I did not have insurance. She directed me to Sixteenth Street’s Patient Financial Services who helped me apply for SAUP to obtain the care I needed outside of the clinic.
Before receiving my cornea transplant, doctors realized that the same thing was beginning to happen to my other eye. Because my other eye was in the beginning stages, doctors were able to perform a corneal crosslinking surgery that would strengthen my corneal tissue stopping the cornea from turning into that cone shape that would affect my sight. Once healed, doctors were able to perform the cornea transplant for my other eye.
Although the healing process has been slow, I am now regaining the sight in my right eye thanks to the transplant. Before Sixteenth Street, because I did not have insurance, I was not really sure what kind of help I could receive. My vision in my right eye was a complete blur. When I would go to get my eye exam done, I wouldn’t be able to see even the biggest letter on the eye exam chart. I was only able to see silhouettes and colors. Now after the transplant, I can see a bit better every day. I am thankful to Sixteenth Street and to the doctors at Froedtert for helping me regain my sight.