Ponteland resident – and grandmother of football star Lucy Bronze – says she is back to being able to enjoy reading just three days after successful NHS eye surgery.
Gloria Stapylton now has her sights set on being there in person to give her granddaughter and the triumphant England women’s team a heroes’ welcome when they return to Wembley later this year.
After having cataract surgery at another hospital in September 2020, Gloria expected to have her second eye operated on just a few months later. But due to delays caused by the pandemic, she was advised the wait would be much longer – so Gloria opted for surgery at SpaMedica Gateshead instead.
“I went back to my optician a few months ago because I was really struggling,” says Gloria. “Reading was starting to become a problem. My eyes were definitely not focusing correctly together and kept going funny.
“My optician said the list for having my second eye operated on at the same hospital was now as long as your arm. I was asked if I wanted to go to SpaMedica instead and I said of course.
“It was all brilliant,” she continues. “They went through the process and I got a leaflet telling me exactly what I had to do before I came to SpaMedica, when I arrived and then what I had to do day by day after the operation.
“On the day of the surgery, the doctors and nurses introduced themselves and made me comfortable. Then they got on with the job and everything went really smoothly.”
Following her successful surgery, Gloria wants others in a similar situation to know that there’s no reason to be afraid. She adds: “I just want to help people feel a bit easier about having cataract surgery. People are often really frightened and dread the operation but it’s absolutely fine because the people at SpaMedica really take care of you and that’s so important. There’s really nothing to worry about.
“Three days on, I’ve been putting the drops in and I’m feeling really comfortable. The drops cause a bit of blurriness, but I’ve got glasses on and I can sit reading a magazine, which is marvellous.”
As well as simple pastimes like reading, Gloria is hoping to see her granddaughter, Lucy, and the rest of the England team dominate at Wembley again in October when they’re due to play the USA.
“I did manage to get to a few of Lucy’s championship games – Brighton, Southampton and then the semi-final at Sheffield – but as I always say, you’ve got to be quite fit to be a fan! And for me at 86, with all those steps and getting on and off the tube, Wembley was just a bit too much, so I had to watch the Euros final at home on television.
“But my family has arranged this trip for later this year and they’ve managed to book a hotel practically next to the stadium so I think I can manage that and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Gloria is still revelling in her granddaughter’s success following the England team’s championship win last month. “It’s taken me several days to come down off the clouds,” she says. “It was exciting, it was emotional, it was tearful. They had a good game, played together and they won. They were so excited and so was I.
“It’s not a case of only men have watched it or only women or kids have watched it. It’s been everybody and that’s lovely.”
Hospital manager at SpaMedica Gateshead, Hannah Grierson, adds: “We’re all still over the moon after the Lionesses’ victory against Germany and it was an absolute honour to meet Gloria. We suspect England’s victory will be the main talking point in our hospital waiting rooms for many weeks to come!”
SpaMedica has 43 hospitals across England and supports thousands of NHS patients like Gloria every week. Its expert team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care, while helping to reduce NHS cataract surgery waiting times, with appointments available within just four weeks.
Hannah continues: “It’s wonderful to hear our patients urging others not to worry about cataract surgery. Cataracts can affect quality of life and independence but for most people, it’s a treatable condition, and the procedure itself is quick and straightforward. So, it’s not something that should be put off – or feared.
“As Gloria says, there really is nothing to worry about. We do our best to put our patients at ease and we make sure every patient receives personalised care and attention, which is why over 99% say they would recommend us to their own friends and family.”
Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed today in the UK, with around 450,000 surgeries taking place each year.
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have cataracts:
It’s best to see an optician if you think you have cataracts. They will perform a thorough eye check and will be able to refer you for treatment if needed.
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