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Eye surgery holds no fears for centenarian Joyce

Sept 2020

A 104-year-old woman has praised specialist staff for restoring her sight – and she urges others to follow her lead regardless of their age.

Joyce Preddy has lived through two world wars, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19, so when she began experiencing cloudy patches in her vision, she didn’t panic.

She quickly saw an optometrist and then a consultant at the sight-saving ophthalmology community surgical centre within Newmedica Bristol.

They arranged for Joyce to have the cataracts in her eyes removed, preventing the increase in vision loss that would ultimately have led to blindness.

She says: ‘I got an appointment within a couple of weeks of phoning them. It was really good and I was extremely pleased with how it all went.

‘I was completely calm during the cataract operation, there was no pain and the only thing I found difficult was concentrating on keeping my head still.

‘I’ve always been lucky with my sight and I only wear glasses to read and watch television. My longdistance sight has always been excellent.

‘Your eyesight is so important and I feel there’s still a lot of living to be done, even when you are 104 years old. I want to tell other people to feel the same.

‘If there are other older people who might be frightened to have the cataract operation, I want to tell them that it’s fine, they shouldn’t be scared. Age is a state of mind, so have the operation and get on with your life.

‘The team at Newmedica Bristol were really helpful and told me everything I needed to know. They looked after me and made sure I was relaxed.

‘Everyone’s eyesight is precious, so we should all look after it and not be nervous about having treatment to save it.’

The Newmedica Bristol surgical clinic is based in Clifton. It provides a full ophthalmology service for NHS and private patients at its community clinics and surgical centres in Bristol, Langford and the soon-to-open site in Frome.

Julian Phillips, operational director at Newmedica Bristol, says: ‘Mrs Preddy is probably the oldest patient that Newmedica has seen and she is an example to all of us.’

Anne Lees, Newmedica Bristol’s theatre manager, adds: ‘Joyce was a model patient who was full of energy and she has such a passion for life. She has shown that no-one needs to feel apprehensive about having treatment for their eyesight. We are so pleased that her experience was such a positive one. It was pleasure looking after her.’