FIGHTER-JET PILOT IN TRAINING
Dear Dr. Wallace,
I am unable to describe my happiness at seeing 20/15 in both eyes. I believe it’s the British who use the phrase “”Spot On,”” and it certainly applies here.
You, your staff and your work were “”Spot On.”” Perhaps it’s even an understatement. I went into this thinking and hoping to get within 20/30 or somewhere close to 20/20, but 20/15? Spot on indeed!
If you’ll remember, I expressed some concern after the PRK operation due to some hallowing and haze, especially in my left eye. Both of those effects are completely gone.
As I get closer to my goals, I’ll be sure to keep you informed. I’m halfway through the military required “”three months problem free”” period, and couldn’t be happier. I’m also studying for the bar, which I take in two weeks, and working part time in a law firm with a limited license. The benefits of seeing clearly in each of these areas continue. Once I’m selected for fighter-jet pilot training, and after my first flight, I’m taking a picture in front of that plane. You’ll be getting the first copy.
I’d have gotten back to you sooner, but just finished taking the Washington State Bar. What a kick in the pants fun time that was. But the great news is that I think I passed.
Yesterday I had my final check-up with Dr. Hagen. He said everything looked great, and then asked me “”Are you happy with your vision?”” in a sort of mock-concerned voice. We both burst out laughing. He said that my vision is “”amazing.”” I agree.
My three month wait for the Navy is at the end of this month, and I’m still in contact with the Oregon Air National Guard. We’re scheduling when exactly I give my life to Uncle Sam, and to which branch, but it’ll probably happen around the new year.
As if the letter above was not enough, Steve wrote us again two years later, in July ’03:
Greetings Dr. Dave
This is Steve M., one of your PRK patients. I recently moved, and came across your card, and thought I’d check out your website and write you an update. Imagine my surpirse to see my face on your website — scaring away other patients I’m sure!
You operated on my eyes in May or June of 2001. Since then I passed the Washington State Bar, and practiced law in Vancouver WA, just north of Portland OR.
In December things finally came through for me with the U.S. Navy, and I moved to Pensacola for Officer Candidate School, graduating in April 2002. During OCS, my eyes were checked probably 3 different times, and I was given a special briefing on how I will be examined every now and then to see how the PRK surgery is going. Other than that, I passed with flying colors, and things have progressed.
After I became an officer, I began Aviation Preflight Indoctrination, or ground school mixed in with a bunch of swimming, and dunking, and para-sailing, and being flipped upside down in tanks full of water — all while strapped in a harness.
I’ve since moved to Corpus Christi Texas, and will continue training in the Primary Flight Training phase, which will include more ground school and then actually flying the T-34. Depending on how I do, that will determine what platform I fly — Fighters, props, or helos.
I want to pass along my thanks again for such a great job on my eyes. I haven’t had any problems, and the clarity I see with is amazing. I hope to do well in pilot training, and I’ll periodically be in touch.