Now Diana’s ready to bend it like Beckham
WILL eye surgery turn left back defender Diana Turner into a born- again striker? Will she come to bend it like Beckham following laser vision correction?
Twenty- seven- year- old Turner, an environmental consultant and lecturer at the Australian Catholic University, is an enthusiastic soccer player. She has suffered from short- sightedness ( myopia) and astigmatism.
For years in sport this has been corrected with contact lenses, until recently when her eyes started to reject them. She found this to be particularly the case because of dry weather. She was another victim of the drought.
‘‘ Contacts were always a little uncomfortable for me, especially in smoky and dry environments when they would sometimes fall out,’’ she says. ‘‘ My glasses never seemed to fit right as there’s a 2mm difference between the height of my left and right ear.
‘‘ You would never notice, but it was enough to make my glasses fall off.’’
She visited ophthalmologists and optometrists and determined to scale back the use of her contact lenses to a time vital to her football play - just two hours for the game. Otherwise, she would wear glasses in training and rely on eye drops.
Her father- in- law and a colleague suggested laser vision correction. She thoroughly researched the procedure and her options using the internet.
Turner had a natural disinclination for surgery, but was persuaded to visit The Eye Institute where she advised she was eligible for IntraLASIK vision correction.
‘‘ At the time, I still didn’t think I wanted to do it because I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the money ($ 3500), and, in all honesty, I wasn’t sure I could handle the surgery,’’ she says. I’ve always been freaked out by any surgery and I had to overcome that first.’’
She did some soul- searching and overcame the fear of surgery without a general anaesthetic.
First, her team, the Wakehurst Soccer Club ( once the team of Lucas Neil, Socceroo and captain of West Ham), now the CC Strikers, had to play in the grand final, and then she determined on the surgery.
This took place at the Chatswood Eye Institute with Dr Michael Lawless on August 30.
‘‘ I just focused on relaxing and felt no pain whatsoever just a small amount of pressure and discomfort,’’ she says.
‘‘ I was surprised that it was over so quickly that my husband had hardly had time to shop for dinner.’’
Within hours, she was realising the benefits of the IntraLASIK and within a day she had gained 20/ 20 vision, even being able to recognise that the ceiling in her bedroom needed painting. She was light sensitive, but that problem has been met with sunglasses.
Several techniques have been developed to treat refractive error in suitable candidates like Turner.
The two most common types are Laser- Assisted in Situ Keratomleusis ( LASIK) and Photorefractive Keratectomy.
Turner is now free of glasses and lenses and recommending IntraLASIK to friends. She has put her eyes to the test on the tennis court and in the sea. For the first time she has been able to recognise advancing dumpers.
She has yet to tie on her boots on the football field, but now she’ll have no trouble seeing the football.
Diana Turner: Overcame her initial fears