Jess Goddard Rows Across the Atlantic Just Six Weeks After Laser Eye Surgery

Each patient we see at London Vision Clinic has their own reasons for seeking vision correction. For all of our patients, though, Laser Eye Surgery is chosen to simply make their life easier. This can be as simple as never again having to worry about misplacing your glasses, cleaning contact lenses, or squinting at books and menus.

For some, however, there are more specific reasons for choosing Laser Eye Surgery – or at least the timing of their decision. Last year, novice rower Jess Goddard visited our Harley Street clinic to find out whether she would be eligible for Laser Eye Surgery, just months before she planned to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Before her surgery, Jess tells us: “I’ll be rowing 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. I’ll be battling against waves and all kinds of weather and then lots of different types of elements, but hopefully also seeing some incredible things along the way. Which is why it’s time to see if I can get my eyes fixed.”

The first step of Jess’s journey to clear vision was determining whether she was suitable for Laser Eye Surgery and, if so, which treatment would be right for her. This was decided through a comprehensive consultation with Emma Brandon, one of our specialist refractive surgery optometrists. Two and a half hours after walking through our doors, Jess was given the green light for Laser Eye Surgery.

Overcoming the Obstacle of Glasses

While glasses have been an important – and often crucial – vision aid over the last few centuries, times are changing. Today, glasses can often be described as an obstacle and even an annoyance. Let’s face it, relying on flimsy frames for your vision is far from ideal.

This obstacle is exaggerated when you are also aiming to complete physical challenges, as Jess knew all too well.

In the video above, we see Miss Goddard preparing for her adventure across the Atlantic. First, on her home rowing machine – where she has “another foggy rowing session”. Later, on the water, Jess is frustrated when sea spray on her glasses obstructs her view. Surgery day can’t come fast enough!

Luckily, Jess only had one month to wait following her initial consultation and four weeks later, she was back in London for treatment.

Walking You Through Your Treatment

London Vision Clinic is proud to be the home of a number of experienced and knowledgeable Laser Eye surgeons, including the Medical Director of the clinic, Professor Dan Reinstein. This allows us to walk each and every patient through their treatment – before, after, and during the procedure.

We know that having Laser Eye Surgery can be a daunting prospect. It is understandable that many patients are nervous and maybe a little scared just before surgery. However, our surgeons are always on hand to put you at ease. We see Professor Reinstein walking Jess through her procedure.

“Well, the procedure itself is extremely easy. There’s nothing for you to do – it does not hurt. You will barely feel anything at all. It’s a little strange, but I’m talking every step as we go, so nothing is going to surprise you.”

After her consultation with Professor Reinstein, Jess was ready: “So, I’ve just had my consultation with Professor Reinstein. It went really well; he put my mind completely at ease, he answered all my questions. I just feel like I’m ready now… I’m just ready to get on that water – glasses-free.”

The next day, Jess was in the treatment room being prepared for surgery. Professor Reinstein was again on hand to talk her through what she would see and feel during the procedure. Minutes later, Jess was in the recovery room ready for her post-op consultation.

Enjoying the Results

Like thousands of other people, Jess is now enjoying the results of ReLEx SMILE. This innovative treatment is minimally invasive and has made clear vision a possibility for more people than ever before. Our own Professor Reinstein was deeply involved in the development of this technology, the Carl Zeiss VisuMax laser, which is now the most advanced laser in the world.

At her post-op consultation, Jess was reassured that everything was looking good – as she would see for herself in the next few days. While some side effects of Laser Eye Surgery tend to last for a few days to a few weeks following the procedure, Jess would be more than ready for her Atlantic row in six weeks’ time.

On the waters, Jess definitely enjoyed some of those incredible views she was expecting: “I’ve just been watching a pod of dolphins. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to spot them if I was still wearing my glasses!”

Having completed their adventure across the Atlantic Ocean, Jess and her teammates were understandably thrilled. But, for Jess, the journey was even more profound.

“The surgery was invaluable to me. My eyesight is impeccable. I think without the surgery, my experience on the Atlantic would have been completely different. When I was out at sea, I didn’t think about my eyesight at all, which was an absolute blessing, and I can’t thank London Vision Clinic enough for what they’ve done for me.”

If you want to learn how Laser Eye Surgery could benefit you, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators or Book a Consultation today!