Forget glasses? No big deal
Sight restored within few blinks of an eye

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 08/96) - Though the YAG laser saves money, its true worth can only be measured by those it has treated.

"I walked outside and stood on the sidewalk and just cried for five minutes," recalled Father Rene Fumoleau, who underwent the laser surgery in August.

"I could see all the details in the trees, the twigs and leaves. Before they were just shapes. All the colors were right -- it was so beautiful."

Fumoleau knows as well as any the value of such technology. Thirty-five years ago his mother developed cataracts. At the time doctors could remove the clouded gels within the capsules that hold each eye's lens, but they couldn't replace the lenses and his mother gradually went blind.

More than three decades later, the Lutselk'e resident had laser cataract surgery. He was among the first patients to have the surgery done in Yellowknife and it resulted in an immediate improvement.

"The doctor said, 'hold your head still, don't move, keep your eyes open.' After about 20 seconds he said, 'that's it, now we'll do the other eye.'"

Fumoleau rested for a few hours after the procedure then went home. A few days later he returned for vision test and

have the pressure in his eyes checked.

"They said, 'You've got 20-20 vision.' I can see so well now I sometimes forget to put my glasses on."