Partner of electrician who killed himself after eye surgery refuses surgeon’s apology

The partner of an electrician who committed suicide after an eye operation gone awry refused to accept a tearful apology offered by a surgeon during a death investigation.

Paul Dance, 62, an electrician at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, paid £ 6,990 for a lens replacement operation performed by eye care company Optegra in January because he hated wearing glasses.

Problems had developed in April, with dry eyes, sticky discharges and constant halos and reflections from any light source, making it impossible to drive at night.

Mr Dance discussed the issues with his surgeon, Sai Kolli, and was keen to follow his advice to remove the multifocal lenses installed in January and replace them with monofocal lenses.

Denise Phillips, 46, from Worcester, had been with electrician Paul Dance, 62, for over 18 years. She claims her husband committed suicide after “giving up hope” after corrective eye surgery left her with dry eyes and blurry vision

Paul, pictured, was found dead at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where he worked, on July 4

Paul, pictured, was found dead at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where he worked, on July 4

After Mr. Kolli left Optegra, Mr. Dance was in the care of another surgeon, Mark Wevill, who recommended a YAG laser treatment to him to try to remove the opacity of his vision rather than swapping the lentils.

Worcestershire Chief Coroner David Reid learned that Mr Dance left a consultation on June 24 feeling confused and called Optegra back the next day.

His over-18-year-old partner Denise Phillips, 46, said he intended to seek another surgeon for another opinion.

But Optegra staff reached out to Mr. Wevill to ask him to call Mr. Dance.

Mr Dance was in the care of another surgeon, Mark Wevill (pictured), who recommended YAG laser treatment to try to remove the opacity of his vision rather than swapping out his lenses

Mr Dance was in the care of another surgeon, Mark Wevill (pictured), who recommended YAG laser treatment to try to remove the opacity of his vision rather than swapping out his lenses

Mr Dance discussed the issues with his surgeon, Sai Kolli (pictured), and was keen to follow his advice on removing the multifocal lenses installed in January.

Mr Dance discussed the issues with his surgeon, Sai Kolli (pictured), and was keen to follow his advice on removing the multifocal lenses installed in January.

Denise said Paul's five suicide notes on her phone underscored his growing distress.  Pictured with the dog Flo

Denise said Paul’s five suicide notes on her phone underscored his growing distress. Pictured with the dog Flo

What is a Yag laser capsulotomy?

A Yag capsulotomy is a special laser treatment used to improve your vision after cataract surgery. It is a simple and common procedure which is very safe.

During your cataract surgery, the natural lens inside your eye that had become cloudy was removed. A new plastic lens has been placed inside the lens membrane (called a bag or capsule) in your eye.

In a small number of patients, the capsule thickens after surgery and becomes cloudy. This interferes with the light reaching the back of the eye. When this happens, your eyesight becomes hazy and you may be dazzled by bright light or nighttime lights.

The thickening of the capsule can occur in the months following the cataract operation, but most often occurs about two years after the surgery. Yag laser capsulotomy is the only way to treat this.

In addition to affecting your vision, the thickening does not damage the eye in any way. In a Yag laser capsulotomy, the doctor uses a special lens to apply a laser beam to the capsule. This creates a small hole in the center of the capsule, which allows light to pass through.

Mr Wevill returned an email to his colleague in which he said he regretted being “unprofessional” and did not respond to Mr Dance’s call.

On July 4, Mr Dance committed suicide in the technical room of the hospital where he worked, leaving five suicide notes in his car for Ms Phillips, her sister and her three children, claiming he could not do facing his poor vision.

In her testimony, Ms Phillips, mother of Mr Dance’s youngest son, said he left the meeting with Mr Wevill fearing that he would lose his eyesight and become a burden on his family.

In his testimony, Mr Wevill, often on the verge of tears, said that Mr Dance had asked for guarantees on his treatment which he could not give because all procedures involved risks.

Mr Wevill’s email to his colleague stated that during the June 24 consultation he explained that he should not have his new lenses removed.

He added, “He didn’t listen at the time and probably won’t listen again. He’s a Sai patient and he’s going to take a lot longer. ‘

He then asked about Optegra’s plans for his fees “for the management of Sai’s problem patients”.

Mr Wevill told the inquest he had been “frustrated and burdened”, not with Mr Dance, but with his workload, making it difficult to provide patients with the care they needed.

Devastated, Denise insisted that Paul's action took courage.  She also expressed her anger at the company that performed the eye operations, priced at £ 6,990, six days apart in January.

Devastated, Denise insisted that Paul’s action took courage. She has expressed anger at the company that performed the eye operations, priced at £ 6,990, six days apart in January.

Denise, pictured with her son, said she

Denise, pictured with her son, said she ‘would never forgive’ Mr Wevill after losing her partner

The coroner asked if there had been any other contact before July 4. Mr Wevill replied: “I regret to say that I have not made contact.”

After being questioned by Ms Phillips’ representative Sasha Rodoy, a patient advocate who heads the My Beautiful Eyes Foundation campaign group, Mr Wevill offered Ms Phillips a tearful apology.

He said: “I am very sorry for your loss. I am so sorry I wrote this horrible e-mail.

Ms Phillips said: “I will never forgive you.”

The coroner concluded that Mr. Dance had been advised of the risks of the operation by Optegra.

While Mr. Dance felt “regret and guilt” about the decision to undergo the operation, no one could have anticipated his decision to end his life.

After the investigation, Ms Phillips and Ms Rodoy called on the government to introduce strict regulations on the refractive eye surgery industry and to ensure that potential patients are fully aware of all the risks.


Source link

Comments are closed.