Meet Eddie | An Extra Special PatientPosted September 23, 2014
Our story is best told through the eyes of our patients….
In many ways Eddie Duncan is just like most 16 year old boys, he loves music, dancing, and playing putt-putt with friends. He even has a sweet spot for pretty girls with long dark hair. If you could only describe Eddie in two words the best ones would be loveable and carefree. Eddie is also a person with special needs, specifically Down syndrome. This disability creates unique challenges for Eddie, some of which relate to his vision.
Years ago, when Eddie was in preschool his parents suspected vision problems had already begun. According to Eddie’s mom, Sharon, they already knew that Eddie likely needed vision correction. However, they didn’t know the extent of his vision issues and how to even approach obtaining a diagnosis. At that time, Eddie was unable to communicate verbally, which created another layer of complexity. As Sharon describes it, “Eddie was completely non-verbal when Dr. Mann [Becky] had to give him an eye exam. It takes an extra-special person with lots of patience, who is skilled at thinking outside of the box, to give an eye exam to someone who can’t communicate.” That first experience with Dr. Becky Mann was a complete success for everyone. They were able to diagnose Eddie’s vision problem and prescribe him glasses. They then braced themselves for the next challenge, or so they thought.
“We didn’t think we’d be able to keep the new glasses on his face. We even came up with a plan for school of how we’d be able to keep them on, through rewards and incentives,” explains Sharon. Sharon and the Invision team held their breath as they put the brand new frames onto Eddie’s face. Sharon recalls that moment, “He put them on and his mouth just opened up wide—and he smiled!” Diana Grayson, an Optician with Invision, also has that special moment committed to memory. “I will never forget the first time he came to our office years ago to have his first eye exam and glasses. His mom Sharon was completely stunned that he could now see so well,” recalls Diana. This was a huge moment for those who know and love Eddie best, his family. It was also a huge moment for the Invision team as they were able to be a part of Eddie’s journey to clear vision. Most importantly, this was a huge moment in Eddie’s life; the world was more crisp, clear, and his too for the taking.
The first time Eddie returned to school with his new glasses, Sharon describes a visible spring in his step. She said he walked down the halls and was clearly excited, as he looked all around. According to Sharon, “Eddie just soaked everything in because he could finally see.”
As Eddie has grown he has taken Invision with him everywhere he goes, literally. You can rest assured that at any given moment he has an Invision eye cleaning cloth in his pocket. He finds comfort in the feel of the cloth and will take it out of his pocket and hold it between his fingers when he begins to feel stress or other negative emotions. Sharon now buys the cleaning cloths ten-fold at a time knowing that this seeminglysimple object has the power to calm Eddie and make him feel at ease. There have been times she has tried to give him another kind of cleaning cloth, and he simply won’t have it. For Eddie, it must be an Invision cleaning cloth.
That first visit and first pair of glasses were over twelve years ago, and Eddie has been a special Invision patient ever since. Sharon says that she can’t imagine taking him anywhere else because “he has a hard time communicating and they just get him. Dr.Becky just gets him.”
To the Duncan family: it’s an honor and privilege to be able to serve you, thank you for allowing us to be part of Eddie’s life!