Merry Christmas Everybody!

Christmas is here again so soon! Thank you to all for your support through 2010. It has been an amazing year and we have met many new and interesting people. Paul has been a little conspicuous in his absence as he is now doing four clinics a year in Dubai and is there at present.

Sammy our trusty elf has gone home to Canada and has been replaced by our two new helpers. Pauls daughter Emily and my son Tim both finished year 12 a few weeks ago and they are both helping out as technicans, cleaners, coffee makers, telephonists, receptionists and computer geeks.

Emily will be going on to University next year and Tim is having a gap year while he works out what he wants to do. Hopefully their experience here will be of value to them both. I know that they are definately a great help around here!

With most of my family away in different parts of the world I am in for a quiet Christmas which will be quite welcomed as it has been an exraordinarily busy year. Usually at this time of year I have many clients in from the country or overseas so I don’t get much of a break. This time however I have not had any emergency calls so I am closing up from the 24th of December till the 5th of January.

I look forward to seeing you all again in 2011. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Safe Practice – The Cool Thing To Do

This year we have seen a lot of eye loss from work place accidents.

Something unpredictable happens and an eye is damaged or lost.  For the worker and the employer the experience is devastating.

In many cases safety equipment has been available but people don’t use it.

These days I wear safety glasses for most of the time.  I used to be complacent but  I got to see over and over again that it just isn’t worth the risk.

I think we all need to talk up the wisdom of using safety gear.  All of us play a role in making it the cool thing to do.  The sane, intelligent  way to work every day.

So stop and have a good think about your job, your kid’s job, your friend’s job – does it present a risk to eyes?

If it does please please get those safety glasses on right now.

I can make you a beautiful eye but it is nothing when compared to the one you have right now.



Making Eyes at Timor-Leste

I would like to start by thanking everybody who bought necklaces through the office to help sponsor the clinic in Dili. It was a resounding success!

I was lucky enough to have had two work experience people assisting me in the clinic this time around.  They were both extremely competent and hands on. They surprised me by fitting conformer shells in eye sockets on their first day and helping in all other areas.

The results were outstanding.  The hours were long but with their help we made fourteen eyes in one week. That’s a record number for me.

I  am hosting the trainees, Judite and Mario, who will come over to Perth in March for four months. After some intensive training, I will go back with them to help set up their own clinic in Dili.

To fund them coming over, Rotary in East Timor are arranging airfares and visas to Darwin.  From there I hope to arrange further funding through Rotary in Western Australia, to get them here.

Hopefully the East Timorese community in Perth will billet them while they are here – so many things yet to be arranged!

My husband Mike came with me again. I think he felt like he didn’t do a lot but he was a fantastic help.  He did all the running around for the team gathering equipment and hunting us great lunches.

The Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) have made me feel a great part of the team in Timor. They arranged airport transfers, dinners, use of computers, phones, car and partly funded my accommodation.

They are also willing to help financially with the set up of the clinic next year.  I am so grateful for their generosity and support.

Our dream of a permanent artificial eye clinic for Timor is well within our reach now and that is pretty exciting.



“A One Eyed View Of Life” By Terry Spring

The best resource I have seen for the newly monocular is a book written by Terry Spring called “A One Eyed View of Life” Terry brain stormed the challenges faced by people living with monocular vision with the group “Cyclops Circle”. This book will help you deal with the challenges of work, sports, driving and just about every other aspect of living with monocular vision. This book is also helpful for family and friends who can sympathise but not really understand what it is like to live with monocular vision.

You won’t find his book in book shops or on the internet. Terry self publishes his book and he is not easy to get in touch with. We use a complicated system of smoke signals and carrier pigeons to contact him. If you would like to order a book please contact us through our contact page and we will arrange for him to send you a copy of his book. In Australia he charges $15 which includes postage. For anyone out of Australia it will cost a bit more for postage. I recommend this book to all my clients and is well worth a look.



New High Quality Conformer Shell Project

It is my dream to produce high quality conformer shells in the Philippines. How this came about is described in a recent interview I did for university study into innovation.

The study investigates how people have found ways to express their values and ethical commitments through developing innovative business initiatives.

Jenny felt that the interview would be of interest to you so we’ve decided to include an edited version. You can read it here at High Quality Conformer Shell Project.



A Message of Thanks

I am thrilled to publish a new story Live The Dream by Tony Armenti.

He was just seven when he found himself lying in a hospital bed with his eyes bandaged. He would lose an eye. There was concern he would lose sight in both eyes.

In the middle of this dreadful time he was visited by a young girl Francis who had also recently lost an eye. Francis told him, “Don’t worry. It’s not so bad. You get used to it.”

Tony never forgot how much that visit meant to him. All these years later he sends his thanks to Francis and tells his story of how things worked out for him.

At the end of Tony’s story there is a link to a story by Francis about how things worked out for her, I’ve Been Proposed To Five Times.

Both of these stories highlight something Jenny and I see every day. Eye loss is an awful experience but it does not need to define you or your life.



Can you pick which one is the artificial eye?

Pauline Middleton Dolls

Are you having a hard time picking the artificial eye? The truth is they are both artificial eyes.

Take a close look at this beautiful young girl and you will notice that she is not a young girl at all. She is in fact one of Pauline Middletons incredible creations.

Whoopi Goldberg, Thankyou card


Pauline Middleton creates original life sized dolls which are sort after around the world. The great Whoopie Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey are both proud owners of these eerily life like dolls.

We have recently started working with Pauline by providing the realistic eyes for her dolls. It is great to be working with Pauline on this project.

Please have a look at her web site Pauline Middleton Original Dolls.



Eyes Win Vote of Confidence

We are very happy to co-operate when journalists approach us to do a story about our work.

This was the case with the Sunday Times who published an article about us yesterday.

We see each story as a valuable opportunity to educate people that there is hope after the loss of eye.

It is not uncommon to meet people who had an eye made decades years ago and who have never got round to replacing it.

As the face changes over time it is often the case that an old prosthesis no long looks natural and it might even be causing irritation to the socket itself.

A newspaper story showing the face of someone happy with their new prosthesis can help these people come forward and have a new eye made.

This can make a dramatic difference to their appearance and level of confidence.

This is the reason why we are always happy to make time to speak to journalists. They help us take away the mystery that surrounds eye loss.

Information reduces fear and makes it a little easier for people to take the step of getting a natural looking prostheis for themselves.

Here is Jasmyn Rullo’s article Eyes Win Vote of Confidence.



#21. grow a new eye

Paul is in Dubai at the moment.  He has sent me an email with the link to a fascinating story of eye loss.

Writer Tanya Vlach suffered facial trauma and eye loss after a car accident.

Her story describes some of the feelings experienced during the years that followed.

I just love the way this story is written.  This is someone who is really in touch with their emotions.  I think being able to put all those feelings down is a great skill to have.

We try to find stories like these and share them with our clients.   Eye loss is uncommon experience and reading about how others have dealt with it can be very helpful.

I recommend you take a few minutes to  read #21.grow a new eye.



Why You Should Examine Decisions About Eye Loss

I’ve had some people come to see me lately who leave me with a sense of sadness.

Their anxieties about their artificial eye have taken a huge toll on their self esteem.

Even though years have past, I can feel that they are still carrying a great burden, as if they had lost their eye recently.

What is even sadder is that these people have fantastic looking eyes. They are attractive looking people with a natural looking eye.

It is often very difficult to communicate with people when they are burdened. They are very protective of themselves.

I would like to suggest they see a counsellor or a psychologist. It would be great to see these folk freed from the anxiety they carry about their appearance.

I am reminded of a song I am learning to play on the ukulele. The song is called This Eye by Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians. The chorus goes:

This eye looks with love
This eye looks with judgement
Free me, take the sight out of this eye.

If you are left with only harsh judgement about yourself and how you look, you are indeed imprisoned.

Losing an eye is very difficult. Carrying angst for many years can be a far greater disability then living with an artificial eye.

If living with an artificial eye is the most important part of your life still, a year or two down the track, then maybe a couple of sessions with a psychologist may help.