RLE Patient Focus – Dean Jacobs

by Lance Kugler, MD

Dean Jacobs is a Kugler Vision patient with an amazing story to tell. As a professional photographer, world traveler, and motivational speaker, Dean relies on his sight when he’s working to capture astounding images that he brings back to the people of his small Nebraskan town, inspiring both schoolchildren and adults to live their best lives. Dean had Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) at Kugler Vision – he shares his story of how RLE transformed his life for the better and why he couldn’t be happier that he went through with the vision correction procedure.

Meet Dean

dean jacobs with monkeys

“I left a secure corporate job to follow my own personal dream to travel around the world.

My quest became: What to do with this experience to make a difference in the world? Since then, I have explored 58 countries and enjoyed all the wonderful experiences while traveling.”

Life’s Joys

“Some of my favorite stories are simple moments on my journeys. For example, when traveling across Sudan, as I went to pay for my bus fare, someone who sat behind me tapped my shoulder, smiled, and said, ‘I already paid for you.’ I responded with a thank you and asked, ‘Why?’ With a large smile, the person answered, ‘You’re a guest in our country. It is part of our responsibility to watch over you while you are here.’ This occurred not just once but several times. This type of goodness is more frequent than we are aware of.

“While exploring Nepal, I trekked to the base camp of Mount Everest and climbed a peak called Kala Patthar. As I arrived at the top of Kala Patthar, the clouds had engulfed Everest, hiding the peak from any possible view. My climbing companion left me alone in the fog at 18,000 feet, hunkered down behind a rock in the blowing wind. My heart told me to stick around a little longer. Twenty minutes later, all the clouds disappeared, and there I was on top of Kala Patthar, alone, with the sun setting over my shoulder, shining onto the face of Mount Everest. In those moments, I cried a river of tears, not of sadness, but of joy, from finally fulfilling a dream – that was long lost and forgotten – to witness Mount Everest. This is a moment no one can ever take away from me, and one of my own guideposts and reminders of just how powerful a dream can be.”

My Mission

“My journeys led to me doing presentations, programs, and workshops to help educate and inspire others. I go into schools and inspire kids to have hope. On that foundation of hope, I challenge them to dream. By sharing my perspective of the world to challenge their perceptions of the world and of themselves has given me insight and wisdom that I use to create teachable moments about life and the world we live in. In the adult world, I have crafted keynotes that uplift and challenge people’s views of the world and themselves.

“My mission is to remind people, especially kids, that dreams are the birthright of all humanity — that we are all capable and responsible for creating and following our dreams, our hopes, and visions for a better future.

“I travel and explore the world, finding connections and experiences that offer a healthy view of the world instead of a negative narrative. I use my stories and images to paint a different picture of the world – one that reminds us the world is far more beautiful, generous, and kind – and to inspire others to be engaged with the world and create healthy communities.”

The Struggles

dean jacobs in glasses

“For a photographer, blurry vision is a pain. It’s hard to know if you have captured the image you were seeking. Once, I was deep in the Amazon rainforest of South America, where there are no convenience stores to buy reading glasses if my pair broke. Knowing this added additional stress to life that impacted the quality of the journey.

“As a photographer who depends on his eyes for creating new content and future income, I wanted the best vision I could get. I heard about Kugler Vision by word of mouth. I asked people who had laser eye surgery and were happy with their results where they went and who is the best in Omaha, and the response was, ‘Kugler Vision.’

“After learning about Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) during my consultation at Kugler Vision, I began to envision future journeys and explorations with the freedom of ‘new eyes.’ I dreamed of adventures into foreign countries where there was no separation or barriers between me and those I encountered. I imagined being present and fully immersed in the moment.”

Life After RLE

“Shortly after having my surgery, I remember saying to myself, ‘Wow, the world is more vibrant now.’ As a photographer, I was seeing the actual quality of light, versus seeing the world through yellowed lenses. It was a stark contrast. I now see better than 20/20.

“RLE has given my eyes a new lease – a sense of freedom and excitement about being unchained from glasses as I go explore the world. I love not having to write ‘glasses’ on my packing list for trips abroad.

“My new eyes can now see new images in the world. With new images, I will be able to create new stories, new inspirations, and new challenges for young people to dream. This will help me serve my mission and commitment to make the world better. For that, I’m very grateful.

“I would encourage anyone to check out laser vision correction. What’s it worth to me to be able to travel to remote places and not be hassled by glasses? Everything!”

A New View

dean jacobs

Laser vision correction is life-changing. If you are active and want to see the benefits of RLE like Dean, please contact us to find out how vision correction can transform your life.

Check out Dean Jacob’s journeys and photos:

kugler vision doctor lance kugler

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an associate professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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