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100 eye injections in 10 years: Aberdeenshire patient thanks hospital staff for ‘exemplary care’

Aberdeenshire patient Margot Kennedy with staff at ARI Eye Clinic after receiving her 100th eye injection on Saturday January 22.
Aberdeenshire patient Margot Kennedy with staff at ARI Eye Clinic after receiving her 100th eye injection on Saturday January 22.

An Aberdeenshire resident living with the leading cause of sight loss in the UK has thanked staff at her local hospital for her many eye injections over 10 years.

Margot Kennedy, 80, lives with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of sight loss in the UK.

She was diagnosed in 2012 and soon had to start having regular eye injections in order to save her sight. Like many others with the disease, Mrs Kennedy has to have these injections every four weeks.

After undergoing her 100th eye injection in ten years of living with the condition, Ms Kennedy wanted to thank staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Eye Clinic. By donating £100 towards a new staff garden, she hopes to thank staff for her “exemplary care” over the years.

She said: “It’s a big marker. I’ve not met anyone with 100 eye injections, I’ve met many people who have had a lot, 70 or 80 odd, but not quite that many.”

What is AMD?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can affect people of any age – even children – and today affects more than 600,000 people in the UK. It is the most common condition of Macular disease, with 300 people diagnosed with the disease every day.

The condition starts to steal a person’s sight and can cause them to go blind.

There are two types of AMD, known as ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ but there is only treatment available for the faster-progressing ‘wet’ type. This usually comes in the form of regular eye-injections.

Not enough is known about the disease and unfortunately, there is still no cure.

Worried about changes to her active lifestyle

Like many people, Mrs Kennedy had not heard of AMD or the regular eye injections needed before being diagnosed. After telling her she had the faster-progressing ‘wet’ AMD, her doctor at the time told her she would need treatment. Without the eye injections she would go blind.

Margot Kennedy.

Mrs Kennedy said: “The news went through me like a knife. I’d never heard of these injections before, I didn’t know the treatment existed but to be told I needed them was, at the time, dreadful.

“For 24 hours I was very quiet and the following evening I burst into tears. I sobbed and sobbed.”

It was not the idea of the injections that scared her so much as what her life might look like afterwards. Being an active person, Mrs Kennedy was worried the injections might not work and that she would go blind.

100 injections and ten years later, she said: “I am still leading a very active life.”

‘A permanent message of thank you to staff’

Throughout her ten years of injections, the staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Eye Clinic have got to know Mrs Kennedy well. Something she said that “makes a difference.”

Her £100 donation will help install permanent poppies in the staff garden and a message on a thank-you wall to acknowledge her appreciation.

Mrs Kennedy said: “In particular during Covid-19, when I hear terrible criticism of doctors and nurses it is often not well-founded.

“People say awful things to their faces and nowhere near enough people actually say thank you to a nurse or doctor, so I’m looking to put a permanent message of thank you to the staff of the eye clinic.”

For anyone interested in further information or support for AMD and other macular conditions, contact the Macular Society’s Advice and Information helpline on 0300 3030 111.

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