Rugby man is one of first to have revolutionary eye procedure

Rob Morgan with patient Greg Pawsey
Rob Morgan with patient Greg Pawsey

A man from near Rugby is celebrating the success of a revolutionary eye procedure, designed to allow older people to do without reading glasses.

Rob Morgan, who lives in Broadwell, is the director of Space Healthcare, the first clinic in Britain to offer the innovative corneal implant known as Raindrop via a laser procedure taking just 10 minutes. He has been overwhelmed with applications from would-be patients.

Ophthalmic surgeon Mark Wevill has so far performed six Raindrop operations at Space Healthcare in Leamington – but following national media coverage, nearly 300 people have applied from as far afield as Hong Kong to have the tiny lens fitted and surgeons have come from all over Europe to study the technique.

Rob said: “We’re delighted at the huge response we’ve had.

“Raindrop’s been very well received in America where it was developed and we always thought it’d be big success over here – but over the past couple of weeks the phone hasn’t stopped ringing and we’ve already had over 100 consultations with people to see if their eyesight would benefit from the procedure.”

Salesman Greg Pawsey 52, from West Haddon, was one of the first British patients to receive the Raindrop inlay to treat presbyopia, a condition that causes the eye to lose the ability to change focus from distant to near objects.

This is a natural part of ageing and one reason why so many of us begin to need reading glasses in our 40s. The tiny inlay, a lens the size of a pinhead, is called Raindrop because it is the shape of a droplet and made of a substance called hydrogel which is also used in contact lenses. Anaesthetic droplets are inserted so the patient remains conscious throughout as the inlay is placed inside a flap in the cornea, the clear part at the front of the eye.

Greg said: “My eyesight started drifting around seven years ago. I drive hundreds of miles a week for work and I was finding it harder to read spreadsheets and the small print on catalogues. Although I had glasses, I was forever losing them which drove me mad.

“Within two weeks of the procedure I was reading the newspaper easily. For me it’s been really good.

“Best of all, I haven’t needed glasses since and it’s really transformed my life.”

The procedure costs £2,495 and is not currently available on the NHS.