Ely Vision Center’s Swift Action Saves Ely Man’s Sight – Hometown Focus


This is the story of how I learned more about my eyesight than I ever wanted to know.

In mid-November 2021, I slipped on hidden ice and took a hard fall. Aged 74, I lay down on the floor and checked all my limbs. Feeling nothing broken or sprained, I dusted myself off and continued my runs. Afterwards, I went home, thinking that I would be in pain tomorrow morning. The next day, when I woke up, I noticed that my right eye was half-covered, blocking my view!

I called the Ely Vision Center, where my wife and I have been patients for over 20 years. After explaining what had happened and what I was going through, Dr. Erin Bremner agreed to see me immediately. During the exam, Dr. Bremner saw blood behind my eyes. He came out of the office and explained to his staff that I needed retinal surgery as soon as possible to save my sight.

His entire staff started calling retinal surgeons to treat me. Dr. Bremner came back to the office and told me the scariest news I had ever heard. I was in danger of losing my sight. My right retina was completely detached and my left retina was torn. Less than three hours after my exam, I was at Vitreo Retinal Surgery in Hermantown. They fixed my torn retina.

I also had an appointment for surgery on my detached retina in Minneapolis. At 6 a.m. the next morning, vision was clear in my left eye but blurry in my right eye. As I recovered from surgery, Dr. Bremner made himself and his dedicated staff available by telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In January, I felt my eyesight had recovered enough to go ice fishing with a good friend. On the third day of our trip, I became totally blind in my “good” left eye. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I called Dr. Bremner at home. He offered to meet me at his clinic if needed. He also put me in touch with the retinal surgeon on duty, who arranged a 6 a.m. operation in Minneapolis.

Here I have to mention my wife who, although she is an excellent driver, really hates winter driving. Who doesn’t! My wife drove to my appointments in Hermantown and Minneapolis all winter, sometimes three appointments a week.

My left eye had more undiscovered damage and scarring. The operation was a success, and after another operation to remove the oil that kept the retina smooth, I hope to regain my full vision! I feel very lucky to have a team of dedicated professionals practicing in Ely. My wife and I have been getting exams and glasses at Ely Vision Center for 20 years, and the glasses are always high quality. I doubt my result would have been the same without Dr. Bremner’s special attention!

Terry Peterson and his wife live in Ely.


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