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Pam, 38

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Where are you from?

I am from Concord California, a suburb about 45 minutes from San Francisco.

Where do you live now?

I still live in Concord. I didn’t make it very far.

Tell me about yourself.

I am 38 years old. I have two awesome little boys Hunter (4) and Sawyer (18 months). I am married to the best and most supportive husband anyone could ever ask for, Steven. I am a Registered Nurse in labor/delivery as well as the Pediatric Operating Room. I really enjoy traveling and spending as much time as I can outside, camping, hiking, or backpacking.

What's your eye story?

At around 10:45 pm on December 23, 2020, I was driving on the local freeway headed to work my labor and delivery job, when I was struck in the face by a large rock that someone had thrown from the freeway overpass. The rock went through my windshield and hit me on the right side of my face breaking 13 bones in my face. These were my orbital, forehead, eyebrow, nose, and cheek. Three out of four sinuses were blown out, my olfactory nerve (responsible for smell) was severed, my right eye was ruptured, and my retina had a giant tear and was detached. On December 24, I was rushed into emergency surgery for my eye, but there was too much blood for the surgeon to see into the back of my eye so it was closed up and left. On December 25, I was taken back to surgery to repair all of the broken facial bones. I had my second eye surgery on Jan 20, 2021, to further explore my eye, reattach my retina and repair the ruptured globe. I currently have silicone oil in my eye to keep the retina in place and have had my retina lasers as well, but I have a large macular hole, so I have no real usable sight. I can see motion and light but no details.

What has been the most challenging thing mentally?

For me, it is a change in my appearance. You get used to looking at yourself in the mirror every day and then one day you look completely different. I also struggle with the thought of something happening to my left eye. It would be completely devastating to me if I could no longer see my boys. I still wake up in the middle of the night to check that I can see. I am now experiencing things with my eye that I didn’t before like allergies, dry eye, and flashes out of the corner of my eye. My ophthalmologist reassured me that my eye is healthy, but it’s hard not to worry. I also find myself on high alert when I am driving, I am so scared of something happening again.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

The only real challenge that I have trouble with is parking my car, turning into a 90degree parking spot intimidates me. I can never really tell how close I am to the next car.

Where are you now in your recovery?

I am in the maintenance portion. I see my ophthalmologist every 3 months. There isn’t really anything else that can be done at this point. I’m not really interested in having any more surgeries unless they can give me my sight back or my eye absolutely has to come out. In January I am being fitted for a scleral shell, which I am super excited about!

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