A Happy Patient
“I went from being an advocate for the work of the Lions Eye Foundation to being a cataract surgery patient, and that was a different pair of shoes to put on!” laughed Sally Cofer-Lindberg in a recent interview.
Sally’s second husband Bert Cofer was a 40-year Lion and one-time President of the Lions Eye Foundation. Sally assisted with fundraising and communications, writing newsletters and producing videos about the “fine work being done by the wonderful people associated with the Lions Eye Foundation.” One video, “In My Eyes,” shared case studies
of individuals who had to undergo cataract surgery, and demonstrated their successful outcomes.
Sally explained, “When it came my time for cataract surgery, I assumed my experience would also be positive. But it wasn’t. I knew from the get-go that the surgery did not come out well, and my eye was not right.” Her surgery had been near her home in Modesto, in the Central Valley. Based on her past experience, Sally turned to the Lions Eye Foundation for assistance, seeking a second opinion. She connected with Dr. Lee Schwartz in San Francisco.
Dr. Schwartz offered to see her immediately, so she and husband drove two hours to San Francisco on a Friday. She found that his office staff was welcoming and warm, and that
Dr. Schwartz “was just awesome, an incredible human being!”
Dr. Schwartz asked Dr. Margaret Liu to join him, both teachers at the Lions Eye Clinic at CPMC. They each repeatedly reassured Sally by saying, “We’re going to figure this out.” An ultrasound was needed to aid in the diagnosis, and, Sally reports, “It was a hard procedure to get through with gel on my eyes. But the staff at CPMC was gentle, kind, and nurturing.” At first, Dr. Liu, or “Dr. Peggy” as she came to call her, tried a conservative approach. But it
was determined that Sally needed to have lens replacement surgery, also known as lens explantation.
Dr. Liu scheduled surgery which, according to Sally, was “another fabulous experience.” Dr. Liu is so competent and capable that I always felt comfortable with her. And Dr. Schwartz came, too! From both of my doctors, it was all about care, compassion, and connection.”
Sally continued, “I hardly slept the night after my surgery because it was so thrilling to witness my eye coming back into focus. It had been a very difficult two months; everything was blurred by filminess, my eye twitched and jerked, and my brain couldn’t figure out what to look at. It was fatiguing and hard to live with.
“The day after the surgery, the same technicians that had tested me before, when I could barely read the charts, tested me again. I had 20/20 vision and no astigmatism; it was a miracle! Dr. Liu’s first words to me were, `Look at that smile!’ They were all celebrating with me, and it felt very personal. It was an amazing experience.”
Sally further elaborated: “Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Liu went above and beyond, they have Lions hearts. It was all about my healing, and healing the whole person, not just the disease. I cannot sing their praises enough. I feel very blessed!”