An artist from Boston Spa has been able to continue her passion for painting after a new treatment to cure a rare condition allowed her to keep her sight.
Retired primary school and special needs teacher, Kathy Brown, began experiencing problems with her eyesight in 2006 and was devastated to hear she might lose it altogether as a sufferer of Choroidal Neovascular Membranes.
Art is everything to me and life without it would be unthinkable.Kathy Brown, retired teacher
At the time, there was no effective treatment for Ms Brown’s condition, and although a new treatment was being developed, she would have to wait until 2007 before it was available.
Ms Brown, said: “The first time I had the treatment it was wonderful. It was like a revelation to know I was not going to go blind. I can see clearly every detail of the garden, the landscape and all the different, subjects I paint.”
She was one of the first patients to receive Anti-VEGF injections at Spire Leeds Hospital under the care of Mr. Tim Dabbs, Consultant Ophthalmologist.
The treatment involves injections into the eye and although most people experience minimum discomfort, the process is required every two to three months and may continue for years as and when needed.
Mr Dabb, said; “The prospect for keeping good vision without treatment is very small, She has been able to continue her painting, drive and play golf for the last eight years, which would otherwise have become impossible.”
He added that the injections, which are currently the best treatment for this condition, help to stabilize vision and in some cases can improve it by 30%.
Kathy, who studied art at Leeds Art College and holds a BA in Visual Arts, has had some of her work sold from selected art galleries and is also a member of the Walton Group of Artists who exhibit her paintings and sculptures.
Since the start of the treatment, Ms Brown has had more than fifty eye injections in total and despite wearing spectacles for glasses and close reading, she doesn’t need any kind of assistance.
Kathy said, “Mr. Dabbs is amazing, he saved my sight and I’m very grateful. Art is everything to me and life without it would be unthinkable.”