Maintaining the Vision - Bernard
For Bernard Mahony the show must go on. A former member of vocal group ‘The Four Kinsmen,’ Bernard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1993. However, it was not the symptoms of Parkinson’s – severe shaking, rigidity and slow movement – that posed one of Bernard’s greatest challenges, it was the unrelated clouding of his eyes.
Now seeing double, Bernard could no longer watch sport, write poetry and he would be unable to see his first born grandchild.
Considering the severity of Bernard’s condition, Dr John Kennedy, Ophthalmologist at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, knew something had to be done, he needed to fix it and fix it quickly.
“Bernard had advanced bilateral cataracts causing deterioration of vision in both eyes almost to the point of legal blindness. Normally cataract surgery is done under local anaesthetic, operating on one eye at a time usually two to four weeks apart.
“However, in this case local anaesthetic would not be possible as Bernard could not keep still long enough due to the Parkinson’s disease. The decision was made to operate under general anaesthesia and to operate on both eyes at the same time,” explains Dr Kennedy.
No stranger to St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Bernard had already been admitted some 18 times, since 2001, to the Hospital’s Level 10 and was comforted in knowing that he would see the familiar nursing staff across the ward.
Utilising sophisticated technology, known as phaco-emulsification, Dr Kennedy operated to restore Bernard’s vision. The plastic shields covering Bernard’s eyes were later removed and he returned home with his wife only three days after being admitted.
Returning home with his wife Jennifer, Bernard no longer blamed his glasses for the double vision. He could once again do the things he loved. Bernard’s famous curry nights were back on the menu and he was back online communicating with relatives in Victoria.
But most importantly Bernard’s vision had been restored. He is ready to see his son walk down the aisle and is waiting for that first glimpse of his yet to be born grandchild.
“The operation was successful and now Bernard has almost 6/6 vision in each eye,” concludes Dr Kennedy.