When Bascom Palmer retinal specialist Audina Berrocal, M.D., saved Daniel Fett’s vision, she kept him flying as well. “As a pilot for American Airlines, I need both eyes to fly,” said Fett, a Naples resident. “She was able to treat my detached retina and preserve my career.”
Back in March 2016, Fett began having difficulties with his right eye. “At first I ignored the problem, hoping it would go away,” he said. “But it kept getting worse.” On the Saturday of Easter weekend, he saw a retinal specialist in Naples. “He said my retina was hanging by a thread and I needed immediate surgery.” With his wife Christine, Fett drove to Bascom Palmer’s Ann Bates Leach Eye Hospital in Miami for emergency surgery. After assessing the extent of the retinal detachment, Dr. Berrocal, professor of clinical ophthalmology, attached a tiny scleral buckle to the eye wall, and inserted gas into the vitreous to push the retina back into place.
However, follow-up examinations showed that Fett’s tissues had absorbed the gas, a second surgery was needed to fill the vitreous with oil. That treatment was successful in stabilizing the retina, and three months later, Dr. Berrocal implanted a new lens to accommodate the changing shape of his right eye. “We were able to work through these multiple issues, and get Dan’s vision to 20/20 again,” said Dr. Berrocal. “It’s been a pleasure to help Dan and his family through these challenges.”
Fett said his retinal detachment wasn’t due to an accident or injury. “My mother and my brother also had detached retinas, although they weren’t as serious as mine,” he said. “I think there must be a hereditary issue in my case. But certainly ignoring it was not a good thing.” Now, Fett gets regular follow-up checkups at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Naples. “It’s a pleasure to see Dr. Berrocal here every few months,” he said. “It’s a convenient location for us, and the staff members are wonderful. I have nothing but accolades for the Bascom Palmer team”.