Rebecca Petris Print
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7 Thank you very much
8 for the opportunity to speak.
9 I used to be a commercial jet
10 finance specialist. I left that career a few
11 year ago because of problems I suffered from
12 LASIK, chronic pain from dry eye and reduced
13 vision.
14 I started several years ago a small
15 nonprofit organization for people with
16 complications of laser eye surgery. It is
17 called Laser My Eye.
18 Dry eye quickly emerged as the
19 leading problem that we were facing from
20 people seeking out help. As a result of that,
21 I went on to start a company called The Dry
22 Eye Company to try and find more resources for

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1 people with dry eye.
2 That company runs a number of
3 informational websites for people with dry eye
4 syndrome. A large percentage, of course, of
5 the people that come there are suffering from
6 severe dry eye after LASIK, seeking out help.
7 One of the things that we do is
8 collect little known products that can help
9 people with dry eye that they are not learning
10 about from their doctors.
11 I missed the deadline to request a
12 speaking slot here, because I was too busy
13 working with these patients that are looking
14 for help after LASIK. I took a Redeye here
15 from Seattle last night, because I could not
16 tear myself off the phone.
17 I spoke yesterday morning with a
18 man in Arkansas for about an hour and a half
19 who was suicidal. He was three months post-op
20 from LASIK, and what he kept telling me was,
21 Rebecca, why didn't anybody tell me this could
22 happen? Why didn't anyone tell me how bad it

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1 could be? They told me I could get dry eye.
2 It was on the form. I understood, but they
3 said we'll give you some drops, we'll give you
4 some plugs; it will be okay, and it will
5 probably go away quickly.
6 I get these kinds of calls every
7 day, all day long. The vast majority of my
8 time is spent speaking with patients who are
9 going through this, not three months after
10 surgery, but six months, 12 months, three
11 years, six years after surgery, people who
12 have done everything and been everywhere.
13 They have traveled to national and
14 international experts, and they have not found
15 remedies, and I don't have answers for them.
16 There's been a lot of talk here
17 today from the industry saying we care, but I
18 am not seeing the compassion. I want to see
19 it.
20 There are a lot of doctors here
21 today. I wish they could be flies on the wall
22 of my office during the day, hearing the

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1 wreckage of the patients' lives and their
2 families' that are just looking for help.
3 I agree with the presenter that
4 said that depression and anxiety and suicide
5 are not -- they don't come from a single
6 factor, not just from the fact that they had
7 LASIK, absolutely not.
8 It is because they did not get
9 proper informed consent. They went through
10 the surgery. They did not get treated
11 properly afterwards. They wandered from
12 doctor to doctor afterwards. No one
13 understood their problems. They haven't had
14 solutions to the problems that they are
15 facing, financial problems.
16 They are facing a host of factors,
17 all related to the LASIK. It is not about the
18 20 minute surgery. It is about what came
19 before and about what has come after it. It
20 is the lack of solutions for them.
21 Few people understand that dry eye
22 pain after LASIK can drive people absolutely

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1 to distraction. I can't tell you how many
2 people I know are on short term or long term
3 disability now because of this kind of pain.
4 They need help.
5 If the industry were interested in
6 helping, if they are interested in helping,
7 they need to rally around the consumer groups
8 that are looking for help. They need to come
9 to us with practical solutions to help. Plugs
10 and drugs are not doing it for us.
11 We've got people we talk to that
12 have been everywhere. They have volunteered
13 for every clinical trial going. They are
14 scrounging together anything they can to just
15 hold it together from day to day.
16 I don't organized notes for
17 presentations for you today. I am simply
18 overwhelmed with the need. I feel like triage
19 nurse with all these people coming, seeking
20 help, for whom I just don't have enough
21 answers, and that is what I am here for today,
22 just to appeal to you for help to prevent more

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1 of this, and to help us get solutions for the
2 people that are facing problems from LASIK.
3 Thank you for giving me the time.