Sometimes there is no telling what twists and turns the road ahead may bring, and that was certainly the case for LWF Founder Laura de Haseth Meddens when traveling the road that took her to one of the leading research centers in the world in the area of Opthalmology.

She learned of the work being done by Prof. Dr. Peter Walter and his teams at the RWTH University Hospital Eye Clinic. Prof. Dr. Walter had been contacted on two fronts: Laura's eye pressure had been dropping because of an injury, and she wanted to meet and interview him about the research being done at their clinic.


Prior to their appointment, Prof. Dr. Walter advised about injections of Healon GV, which is a vitreous substitute for the eye's gel-like internal fluid, and in their subsequent meeting, and Laura's eye examination, he discovered that her retina was detached and also torn, a condition that required immediate attention.


Laura Meddens at the University Hospital in Aachen, and being examined by Prof. Dr. Peter Walter

Three days later, Laura returned to the University Hospital for surgery to reattach the retina. Prof. Dr. Walter had also noticed, during the examination, that there was a large piece of scar tissue, in the form of an opaque membrane, that was covering the center part of her eye and partially obstructing her central field of vision. He wouldn't be able to tell if he could remove it, or how much, until he was in the operating room, and after very careful evaluation, was able to meticulously cut around the edge of it and remove it entirely.


Then Laura's eye was injected with a heavy silicone oil which helps keep pressure on the retina while it reattaches, and when it is eventually removed, likely in late January, it will then become evident whether Laura's vision will be improved. While the heavy oil is in the eye, the refractive power is similar to looking through a bottle of olive oil, but Laura herself has noticed her ability to see a little more detail in certain things at a close distance with every day that passes.


If the surgery wasn't done, it was very likely that Laura would have lost what little vision she had left. She is very grateful to Prof. Dr. Walter and his staff and the nurses at the University Hospital for their professional and compassionate treatment. Laura also wants to thank Prof. Dr. Stanley Chang who is the Edward S. Harkness Professor and Chairman of Opthalmology at Columbia University in New York who also contributed insight into the use of Healon GV as a result of studies he and his research teams conducted.

Laura also is grateful for the ongoing support of her eye specialists, Prof. Dr. Mark Tilanus in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and Dr. Jan Dirk Ferwerda in Curaçao, as her journey of healing continues.

The interview with Prof. Dr. Walter and the video of the operation will be used in the documentary, "Opening Eyes and Opening Doors - The Journey of Laura And Wagner".

For more information about the leading edge research being done in Aachen, please visit the links below.

> UAA Welcome Page

> UAA Research Groups
> University Hospital Aachen