For many people, poor vision clarity and the need to use glasses or contacts is a minor frustration. For 2018 Gift of Vision Giveaway winner Stacy Hurrle, poor vision has frustrated her since kindergarten and has been a constant challenge in enjoying her favorite activities.
“I’ve had to wear glasses since I was in kindergarten,” she says. “I came home one day and told my mom, ‘I can’t see the chalkboard.’ That’s when my vision was first tested, and I already had really poor vision.”
But instead of stabilizing and needing glasses with a minor correction, Stacy’s vision continued to get worse. “Growing up, they kept deciding to test me for diabetes because my vision was getting so bad. They were even concerned that I was going to go blind!” Stacy can laugh about the situation now, but it was a major challenge growing up.
When Stacy was old enough to transition to contact lenses, activities were easier but still came with challenges. “I never could wear my glasses during volleyball or softball because my peripheral vision was so bad. Contact lenses helped out a lot, but even contacts were frustrating,” she says. And those challenges continue with her activities today: “Playing softball at night, my contact lenses make me see halos around the lights, and my depth perception is always just a little off. Also, when I wakeboard or jet-ski, the spray gets in my eyes and causes my contacts to get all foggy and blurry. It’s no fun at all!”
Because her vision prescription was so bad, Stacy assumed she was not a candidate for LASIK: “My eye doctor told me that I just wasn’t a candidate, and that was pretty disappointing.” But a conversation with a friend changed everything. “I told one of my friends that I wasn’t a candidate for LASIK. ‘No way!,’ he told me. ‘My vision is just as bad as yours, and I was a candidate for LASIK. You need to go and talk to St. Cloud LASIK. They can tell you if you’re a candidate. If I was a candidate, you could be too!’”
This encouragement from her friend also reinforced a lot of other positive recommendations Stacy received from other friends about LASIK in general, and LASIK at St. Cloud LASIK specifically. “I had about 10 friends tell me how great their LASIK procedure was, and it made me really excited to see if I was a candidate.”
With her new hope and confidence, Stacy called and set up a free screening with the St. Cloud LASIK team. “Missy and the entire team were so helpful, friendly, and informative. I could tell they were really passionate about the work, and that made me feel comfortable. Missy took a lot of measurements and explained in great detail that I was a candidate. My vision is definitely bad, but lots of other measurements, like the thickness of my cornea, show that I’m a good candidate. I felt very comfortable with the information I received and how carefully they looked at my eyes to make sure I was a candidate.”
It was after her screening that Stacy heard about the Gift of Vision Giveaway. “Missy told me about their holiday giveaway, and asked if I wanted to sign up. ‘Sure,’ I thought, but I really didn’t expect to win. So when Missy called a couple weeks later and told me I had won, I was excited and surprised and really happy!”
When we asked Stacy what free LASIK means for her, she had a lot to say: “I’m just so excited to be able to wake up in the morning and not need to hunt for my glasses. I’m excited to be active without my contact lenses and all the challenges they create. I want to be able to pack for vacations and enjoy time away without packing glasses, contacts, solution, and everything else I’ve needed for my whole life just to see. It is going to be amazing and such a blessing.”
We’re very excited for Stacy to receive her free LASIK procedure in January thanks to the Gift of Vision Giveaway. And we’re excited because Stacy is planning a trip to Jamaica in March, so she will be able to enjoy her new, clear vision right away in a place full of beauty, water, and fun activities. “I can’t wait to tell you all about my first vacation without glasses or contacts,” she says. “It’s going to be a huge change, and I’m excited.”
Thanks to Stacy and to all the people who entered the Gift of Vision Giveaway in 2018. We feel blessed to serve the St. Cloud area with our comprehensive vision program, and the Gift of Vision is one small way we’re happy to help people have a great holiday and a great LASIK experience. We’ll definitely share more about Stacy’s LASIK experience and first vacation without glasses or contacts in the months ahead!