Patient Story: How an Eye Exam Saved a Life

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This spring, Mary Ann Spillman began experiencing strange eye symptoms that prevented her from doing the things she loves, like seeing her grandkids and observing the birds in her backyard. Luckily, ophthalmologist Dr. Steven Maier’s quick thinking and expertise gave Mary Ann a second chance to see the world around her. 

Eye Symptoms Reveal an Underlying Condition

Mary Ann began experiencing problems in her right eye this spring while visiting her niece in California. “I had severe pain behind my eye, saw colors incorrectly, and was losing my sight by the hour,” said Mary Ann. “I was scared to death that I would lose my vision entirely.” 

When she noticed the loss of vision in her right eye entirely, she took a trip to UCLA Medical Center to find answers. She was referred to an eye specialist and quickly made an appointment with Dr. Steven Maier back home in Jacksonville.

A Second Chance to Live

During her first visit with Dr. Maier, Mary Ann mentioned that she needed to have a carotid artery examined. However, her cardiologist didn’t believe it was urgent since he didn’t see a concerning blockage during her recent visit.

“Immediately, Dr. Maier left the room and called my heart doctor.” Mary Ann said, upon returning to the exam room, “he explained that the carotid artery was causing me to lose my vision and that my procedure needed to be moved up.”

When Mary Ann’s heart procedure was performed, her artery was found to be ninety percent blocked. She spent three days in the ICU, and her doctors were surprised that she had not suffered a stroke. Following the surgery, her right eye required no further treatment. 

“I feel that Dr. Maier saved my life when he urged my cardiologist to move my surgery up two weeks,” said Mary Ann. “He went over and above because he cared about me.”

Thanks to Dr. Maier’s quick thinking, Mary Ann was spared a much more catastrophic situation. and was able to return to the things she loved in no time. With her newfound eye health, she can now watch her grandsons surf and spend time enjoying nature. 

The Importance of Vision Care

“It’s like I was given a second chance to live my life,” Mary Ann said. “I owe Dr. Maier a huge thank you. I owe him my sight and my life. When you can’t see, you lose half your life. Now I get to see everything.”

Mary Ann has first-hand experience that eye health goes hand in hand with the health of your entire body. She encourages everyone to incorporate a visit to an eye specialist into their annual healthcare because your eyes reflect more than you could ever imagine. 

Although her health conditions were not directly eye-related, her visit to Florida Eye Specialists allowed her to find answers and receive the treatment she needed. 

“My visit with Dr. Maier not only saved my sight but also my life. I cannot thank him enough for that.”

Schedule an Appointment

If you are experiencing symptoms of eye disease, the talented team at Florida Eye Specialists is here to help. Schedule an appointment today to receive eye care from doctors you can trust.