Monday, July 8, 2013


Jul 03 - I have been seeing a Cornea Specialist at Loma Linda Medical Center, CA for about six months (Jan - Jul) because of what was diagnosed as a scratch on my cornea.

Sidebar:  This is the cornea of my right eye in which I had Acanthamoeba Keratitis in 2006.  Since then I have had three cornea transplants and early on I became blind in that eye.  In other words, my right eye is a very sick eye and I try to do whatever I can to take care of it.

I followed up with the Loma Linda Cornea Specialist every three weeks (approximately 80 miles round trip each visit).  The doctor examined me and replaced a medical contact lens, prescribed eye drops, and set up a follow up appointment in the next three weeks.  On my last two visits he indicated the scratch was finally showing signs of healing, and I should continue to follow up with a Cornea Specialist.

We have left California and are now in Cottonwood, AZ.  It was time again for my three-week follow-up.  There are no Cornea Specialists in Cottonwood, so I called our friend Jean (Jean and Don of the 10-Pac).  We met them a few years ago and Jean had raved about her Cornea Specialist in Phoenix and how much he had helped her.  She gave me the phone number for Cornea Specialists of Arizona.  Using Jean as my referral I was able to get an appointment with Dr. Suedekum on Wednesday, July 3 (amazing)!!  The day before the holiday weekend!!!

Dr. Suedekum examined my eye for about two seconds and said, "You don't have a scratch on your cornea; you have an ulcer.  Your cornea has gotten very thin, about as thick as a piece of Saran Wrap.  You need to have a cornea transplant.  Right Now!!"  I explained that my original doctors had decided after three transplants, another transplant would not be of benefit.  Dr. Suedekum told me I had no choice this time!  My cornea was so thin he did not know if it would last through the weekend; and he certainly did not want me to travel across the country without having a transplant!

As it turned out, Dr. Suedekum said he was performing emergency surgeries that very afternoon and he could work me in for a cornea transplant; quickly obtaining a donor cornea from the donor bank in Phoenix by using his influence there.  His plea was, "Please, let me do the surgery today!"

What a surprise to Ken and me!!  We were shocked!!  But, we had no other commitments that day so we agreed.  The surgery was performed late that afternoon!!

I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Suedekum the next day, Thursday, the Fourth of July!!  He removed the bandage and said everything looked good.  Call for a follow up next week.

Is that not amazing!!  How quickly everything happened!!  Hopefully, all will go well and we will be ready to travel across country to Virginia in August.  Thank you so much Jean for your referral.


While waiting for my follow-up visit, I had read the biography of Dr. Suedekum that was included in the packet provided by Cornea Consultants office.  I noticed that he had attended Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.  I mentioned to him that I, myself, had been a patient of Dr. Forster at Bascom Palmer in the winters of 2007, 2008, and 2009!  Oh yes.  Dr. Suedekum said he had completed some studies under Dr. Forster and knew him well.  As it turned out, he had left Florida the year before I got there.  Small World!!!