Blake’s Story – PRK Patient
“Refractive surgery has permanently changed my life for the better. As a member of Navy ROTC at the University of Southern California (USC), I was introduced to the thrilling world of Naval Aviation my freshman year in college. It was an exciting opportunity, but open only to those with perfect vision. This I did not have, and had been wearing contacts since middle school. My mother had PRK surgery done by Dr. Schallhorn years ago, and recommended I see him to go about achieving my dream of being a Navy pilot. I had the surgery and now, with 20/15 vision, I will be reporting to flight school after graduation from USC. Without the surgery, this dream would not have been possible.
In addition to helping me pursue my career aspirations, the surgery has helped because my vision is better than it was with contacts: I can sit in the back of the lecture hall and have no problems reading the board.
Another amazing result of the surgery is the convenience it gives me. Not having to put in contacts every morning and take them out every evening is enjoyable. Contacts are relatively low maintenance, but I live an active lifestyle frequently swimming, taking my motorcycle out on week long trips and other activities. Wearing contacts always required extra planning to ensure I had all my supplies and replacements, wherever I was. Now I can wake up in the morning and head immediately to the pool or out on the road. The contribution to my own mission readiness is a great benefit.
I would and have recommended laser corrective surgery to my friends, not only those in the military but outside as well. With the advances in LASIK and PRK, the final results are amazing and recovery times very fast. I think it is well worth it to have the surgery. I had it done in college, and compared to dealing with the daily routine of contacts for the rest of my life, I believe refractive surgery is better not only in terms of time and cost but also the immeasurable lifelong benefit of ease.
I can’t emphasize enough how this surgery helped me achieve my dreams of being a Naval Aviator. Prior to PRK, I met all the other academic, professional and physical conditions to be a pilot with the exception that my eyes weren’t where they needed to be. Having the surgery changed that and I am already experiencing the joy of the field I’m entering. Last summer I worked with a F-18 squadron and went on flights with them, an opportunity that would not have been possible without this surgery. I look forward to my future career as a Naval Aviator. Fly Navy!”