Clinic ‘first’ means Janet Howden’s eyesight is back on target
By Alison Bellamy – appearing in the Friday 20 April 2007 edition of the Yorkshire Evening Post
A world champion rifle shooter is one of the first people to benefit from a new laser eye clinic in Leeds. Janet Howden’s eyesight is now bang on target after laser eye surgery at the St. James’s Laser Vision Centre – the first of its kind in Yorkshire as it treats both NHS and private patients.
The centre was opened by Martin Buckley, chairman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, at St. Jame’s Chancellor Wing.
The service will be provided by consultant eye surgeons Andrew Morrell and James Ball, who both specialise in corneal surgery.
Ms Howden, 43, of Birstall, deputy director of informatics for Leeds Hospitals, who paid £1,500 per eye for her treatment to correct short sightedness, said: “I have worn glasses and contact lenses all my life. Being short sighted and an Olympic standard target shooter is not good.”
Ms Howden has shot for Great Britain for 15 years and holds three British records and an equal world record in her field of Ladies Prone Rifle shooting.
“After surgery, I was back out shooting soon after and could see better than ever. I even brought Mr Ball my target poster to prove how good my eyesight is now,” she said.
The unit is equipped with the latest refractive laser technology, meaning NHS patients no longer have to go to a private unit in Leeds. It also makes a considerable savings to the health trust.
No referral from a GP is needed.