Your donation means better sight for thousands of people

Move over, surgical instruments – hammers and saws are bringing big changes to St. Joseph’s Ivey Eye Institute. Construction is now underway to expand the Retina Care Program to serve even more people; work only possible because of your support.

Extreme Makeover: Ivey Eye Institute Edition

We can’t see the retina with our naked eye, but without it there is simply no sight. The cells lining the back of the eye constantly detect light and transmit signals to our brain to make sense of the world around us.

construction workers working inside the Ivey Eye Institute
Because of donor support, walls are going up to create three new retina exam rooms at the Ivey Eye Institute.

But the retina is also extremely delicate. If it’s damaged by aging or disease, vision loss becomes a real and scary possibility. Retina issues like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are a leading cause of blindness in Canada. Fortunately, early detection and specialized care can often repair damage and prevent further problems. Over the last decade, the number of patients needing retina care at the Ivey Eye Institute increased 50% – a number that will only grow as the population ages.

Thanks to donor support, the Ivey Eye Institute is ready to meet the changing needs of this community. 

By helping to expand the Retina Care Program, you are improving the ability of our skilled care teams to meet rising demand for eye care. We are adding new diagnostic equipment and breaking down walls to create three additional retina exam rooms and a new dedicated patient waiting area.

Check out a behind-the-scenes tour of the renovations with Dr. Tom Sheidow.

Seeing the Potential of Research

physician examines patient's eye
Early diagnosis and quick access to treatment can stop the progression of retina conditions like wet age-related macular degeneration.

The “dry” form of AMD is the most common, making up 90% of all cases. This condition occurs when the central part of the retina thins or deteriorates with age. Over time, it can progress into “wet” AMD where blood vessels grow and leak, requiring treatments to save vision.

But there is currently no effective way to treat dry AMD and stop the progression. This expansion will create capacity for the future of clinical research in ophthalmology at St. Joseph’s, including more than 10 new clinical trials focused on finding the world’s first treatment for dry AMD.

Scott's Story

Scott Walker (left) and his family
Scott Walker (left) seen here with his family.

Life is busy for Scott Walker. The active 62-year old from Cambridge works as an Elite Athlete Manager for True Hockey, selling equipment to NHL teams and top leagues – a dream job with lots of driving – and spends his free time with his wife Donna and their two adult children.

But one morning in April 2022, Scott woke up and realized he couldn’t see. His doctor immediately referred him to the Ivey Eye Institute. His daughter Carly rushed him down the 401 to London, where the care team diagnosed retinal detachment. The retina had pulled away from the back of his eye and he needed emergency surgery to repair the damage.

Fortunately, Dr. Tom Sheidow was able to perform his surgery that very night. In the span of just one day, Scott lost his vision and got it back again. Today, Scott is back at work and on the road again after a short recovery. He’s immensely grateful for the relaxed, personable and friendly care he received from everyone at the Ivey Eye Institute.

Read more stories in the 2021-22 Community Impact Report

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