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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LittleBearProd Client, r. r. bernet - ARTIST, BIONIC EYE RECIPIENT

r. r. bernet is a classically trained artist who has painted since the age of 15, and has explored many other mediums, as well. She was temporarily blinded at the age of 19, by an over-pressurized champagne bottle that exploded directly into her left eye.  Visually impaired, she was told that she'd never complete college by a top Neuro-Ophthalmologist in Chicago. This same specialist told her she would eventually go completely blind in her '40's. Four years later, she graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a B.A. in History.

Eye strain, crippling headaches, and worsening vision problems eventually led to reconstructive eye surgery. By the time she was in her '40's, she couldn't see well enough to drive safely. Rather than being outdone, she started designing custom eye patches; an artist's attempt to make proverbial lemonade out of life's lemons.
Five ophthalmologists and four surgeons later, Dr. Stephen D. McLeod of UCSF replaced the lens of her left eye with an artificial one (not a transplant) the Tuesday after Labor Day Weekend in 2009. Unfortunately the champagne cork had caused a lot of damage to the inside of the eye. A lot of the zonules that normally hold the lens in place were either damaged or missing, so the surgery was less than pleasant.

While she still suffers from debilitating headaches from eye strain, she's able to see better out of her 'new' eye than she has in over 20-years.  She has since started a successful Social Media company for artists, has founded Eye Candy™;Designer Eye Patches, and has created a jewelry line.