Patient Focus: Tiffany’s Story
Tiffany is a 24-year-old native of Omaha, Nebraska, with a passion for trying new things. She is vivacious, warm, and outgoing. We at Kugler Vision have been fortunate to get to know Tiffany since she first came to our offices for her LASIK consultation, and now you can get to know her too, as part of our Patient Focus series.
Tiffany grew up in Omaha, attending Bellevue West High School until she was 16, when her family moved to Tyler, Texas. She finished high school there, at Bullard High. Moving to another state in the middle of high school may be stressful and scary for some teenagers, but Tiffany thrived.
Tiffany loves to try new things. When you ask her what her favorite hobbies are, simply “doing something new” is on the list. Always keeping busy, Tiffany loves dogs, watching documentaries, and spending time with her closest friends. She has a talent for communicating and enjoys writing poetry.
Always up for a new experience, she took up painting, and her work is set to be shown in her first gallery display soon. Until recently, there was one thing that was keeping her from fully enjoying her artistic pursuits – blurry vision. “It’s really saddening that I’m unable to fully appreciate my artwork [hanging in a gallery] until I have someone put glasses on me; only to have them slide off my face every few minutes,” she said.
The Frustrations of Glasses and Contacts
Tiffany had been relying on glasses and contacts for about nine years. She had considered LASIK vision correction in the past but hadn’t put much thought into it until 2017, when a sudden and intense downpour caused her car to hydroplane into coming traffic. The accident left her with a concussion and a spinal cord injury.
Tiffany knows better than most that a single second can change everything. After her spinal injury, Tiffany was affected by paralysis. One of the consequences of this paralysis was that it was no longer possible for her to put in or take out contact lenses by herself. Glasses were also a problem. Every time her glasses would slide down her nose, she’d need a caregiver or friend to adjust them. The glasses also hurt her ears and nose –something that became frustrating pretty quickly.
Gaining Independence With Clear Vision
Tiffany is definitely not alone – those affected by paralysis have unique frustrations with glasses and contacts. About one in 50 Americans live with some form of paralysis, and around 40 percent of all Americans deal with some form of blurry vision. She said that after her injury, little things like reading menus in a restaurant became a hassle due to blurry vision. “I had started going out to eat and being unable to read menus on the wall within feet of me,” she says. “I had to rely on other people to tell me what is listed.”
Tiffany is a patient and determined person whose efforts have been rewarded in the strides she’s made toward an independent lifestyle. “I am always looking for ways to broaden my independence,” she says. “I take pride in it”
What Is Focus on Independence?
Focus on Independence (FOI) is a nonprofit that seeks to improve the lives of people affected by paralysis who cannot use their arms or hands to handle glasses and contact lenses. The FOI program was founded in 2003 and offers services nationwide; participating surgeons provide surgical vision correction for these patients at no cost, and with it, a new look at life. When Tiffany first saw a video on the local news about the FOI program and saw that Lance Kugler, MD, was offering it right here at Kugler Vision in Omaha – she knew it was time to move forward with LASIK.
Putting Life in Focus
Now, after receiving LASIK vision correction at Kugler Vision through FOI, Tiffany is seeing clearly. She can just wake up and see. No worrying about packing glasses or having someone right there to adjust them. It’s one less thing to worry about. She plans to move into her own house later this year.
Tiffany is most excited to see fine detail from far away. Seeing and appreciating nature, art, and cinema will never be the same. “Tiffany is such an outgoing and determined person. It was an honor to be able to help her with her vision,” Dr. Kugler says. “I’m thrilled for her to be able to enjoy her passion for painting in a new way – seeing her creations without the need for glasses or contacts.”
Tiffany’s Advice for Those With Blurry Vision
When asked what she would tell someone who’s struggling with blurry vision, she simply said: “Go for a consultation. See if you’re a good candidate.” Laser vision correction is life-changing. If you have questions or would like to learn more about how LASIK could change your life or learn more about the Focus on Independence program, please contact us at 402-558-2211.
Lance Kugler, MD is the Founder and Physician CEO of Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska. Following a year of specialty training, during which he performed over 1300 refractive surgical procedures, Dr. Kugler returned to Omaha to bring the latest state-of-the-art LASIK and cataract surgery technology to Nebraska. Dr. Kugler serves as Director of Refractive Surgery for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he is in charge of resident education and research programs to advance the field of refractive surgery.