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Don't judge a book by its cover

August 24, 2018

“Never judge a hospital by its building”, says Melbourne author and Eye and Ear patient Louise Wilson.

Louise had gone past the Eye and Ear many times but had never been inside. A published author with several books under her belt, Louise regularly spends time researching historical biographies, and is used to exploring beyond the surface to find the real story.

“Many people still think appearance is everything. The Eye and Ear looks old fashioned on the outside, but it is an amazing place on the inside.”

Louise recently attended our Emergency Department after she unfortunately contracted an infection – orbital cellulitis – following a routine surgery (dacryocystorhinostomy or DCR, an operation on the tear ducts to help improve drainage of tears from the eye to the nose), at another hospital.

The infection left her with swollen, puffy and sore eyes and face, and also affected the muscles around her face so she couldn’t move her eye.

“I was really uncomfortable and I couldn’t see – which meant I couldn’t drive, or read either” she says.

Most of us highly value our sight, and as someone who writes for a living, Louise admits she was a bit concerned that the infection would affect her vision – and ability to read and write.

Louise was admitted to the Eye and Ear as an inpatient where she was treated for her infection. She says she doesn’t normally give feedback, but felt compelled to after spending three days at the hospital.

“I always felt in safe hands at the Eye and Ear. The staff breathed confidence that my sight would be OK. Afterwards, when I told my GP how good the place is, she said ‘they get the crème de la crème of medical grads’”.

“Every doctor, nurse and staff member I encountered was helpful and professional.

“I had never been in a shared, mixed gender ward before so I was a bit nervous but I had a good experience. The team showed great care and went above and beyond. The nurses were kind hearted, gentle yet efficient – especially considering they had lots of people to look after. I even liked the food”.

After she was discharged from the Eye and Ear, Louise’s eyes have healed well and she hasn’t had any issues since. She’s back to writing, and is currently researching her next books – historical biographies and family histories, primarily tracing her family’s First Fleet heritage.

“I could never really understand the need for a specialist eye and ear hospital until I had been – now I know!”