Never too late to treat your cataract and fulfil your dreams

A woman who has launched a career as a children’s author and illustrator at the age of 75, has spoken of her gratitude to her surgeon at BMI The Saxon Clinic, for saving her sight and giving her chance to live her childhood dream.

Living with cataract can be very debilitating, especially in older age. Being visually impaired doesn’t only prevent you from doing daily chores, but can also stop you from fulfilling your goals and aspirations. The surgery for cataract is one of the most common surgical procedures in the UK, and the recovery is usually quick in restoring the way you perceive the world.

Living with poor eye sight

Marian Joiner, from Oldbrook in Milton Keynes, has just finished writing and illustrating her second children’s book which will be released in time for Christmas, and has ambitions to produce another eight. Marian, now aged 77 and living with her husband of 53 years, has had problems with her eyesight all her life and had given up painting and drawing because her sight had become so bad.

“As a child, I lived on a farm and used to spend hours drawing the farm animals and amusing my brothers and sisters with stories about the animals. When I was 15, I won a three year scholarship to study at Art College but my father wouldn’t let me go, as he said I needed to get a proper job. I lost interest for many years and concentrated on my career as a PA and bringing up our son and daughter."

Marian drawing

I’ve always worn glasses,” she added, “I never really thought much of it over the years, although I have always suffered with headaches. I just got used to it, I suppose. However, I went for a check-up at the opticians in 2016 as my eyes had become cloudy and I was told I had cataracts in both eyes. They said I could go blind very soon and that was the moment I realised I had to do something."

“I decided to pay for my treatment so I would be seen quickly and before any permanent damage was done,” she said. “I chose Mr Areeb Moosavi because I had heard such good things about him and I had previously been a board member for the hospital so I knew how fantastic the facilities and staff at BMI The Saxon Clinic are. When I met him I thought what a really lovely and very competent person he was.”

Getting back her sight and her dream

Marian and husband

Last year, consultant ophthalmologist Mr Moosavi carried out two sequential cataract operations at BMI The Saxon Clinic, just three weeks apart. Mr Moosavi understood Marian’s passion for drawing, and was keen to ensure she could pick up her childhood hobby, so he put two different lenses into her eyes: one for driving, and one to help her draw clearly.

The difference was almost immediate,” said Marian. “The day after the first operation, I could see properly for the first time in years. I hadn’t realised just how little I could see before. I had some flowers in the house that I thought were beige coloured, but when I saw them after surgery, I realised they were yellow and pink."

“Now that I was able to paint again, my husband surprised me with some paints and I started painting farmyard animals again like I used to do. I showed my drawings to a couple of other authors who said how good they were and told me sell them or get someone to write stories for them. Instead, I decided to write the stories myself!"

“I’m so grateful to Mr Moosavi and his brilliant surgical skills,” Marian said. “He has literally saved my eyesight and given me a new career. I’ve written two books so far and am looking forward to producing many, many more thanks to him!”

Areeb MoosaviMr Areeb Moosavi, Consultant Opthalmologist at BMI Saxon Clinic explains:

Marion's eyesight was significantly affected by her cataracts and this in turn was affecting her enjoyment of life. Because of the problems she had, I carried out sequential cataract surgery, removing her cataracts and fitted two new lenses that were tailored to her lifestyle. I am so pleased that I was able to restore her sight and help achieve her childhood dream of becoming an illustrator. She’s an inspiration to others.

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