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Photographer has sight-saving treatment at MTW

Professional photographer Phil Lee, spoke to Patient First about being diagnosed with the eye conditions iritis and macular oedema and the 10 years of treatment he received from the Ophthalmology team at MTW.

The department of Ophthalmology at the Trust is the largest specialised eye unit in the South-East of England, serving a total population of 1 million. The team provides care for a wide range of conditions, treating some 116,000 patients each year.

What eye condition did you have?

During a routine eye examination in 2011, the optician first spotted problems with my right eye and following referral to the Ophthalmology department at Maidstone Hospital, I was diagnosed with iritis, which subsequently migrated to my left eye in 2014. I also had further vision problems in the left eye and this was diagnosed as macular oedema.

What treatment did you receive?

Over the last ten years I have been treated with a wide variety of steroids and procedures to remedy the conditions – this has included eye drops and eye injections.

When did you undergo treatment at MTW?

My first appointment at Maidstone Hospital eye clinic was in March 2011 and I was finally discharged from the care of the hospital in July 2021.

Which consultant/s and team members have supported you with your treatment?

I was seen by numerous doctors and consultants over the ten years I was a patient at the hospital. I also received care from other members of the team including locums, nurses and technicians. I attended the clinic so regularly the staff came to recognize me by sight!

How has the treatment impacted your life?

The treatments I have received have allowed me to carry on in the profession I love – I am a photographer. At one point I was told that my condition was sight threatening, so I am extremely grateful that I received the very best care. My job calls for perfect vision and since I have been self-employed for the past five years it has allowed me to carry on with no interruption to my work.

All the staff that I came into contact with were very understanding and friendly and skilled in their profession. Without them my outcome could have been very different – I am hugely grateful to the amazing staff working at the Trust.