Atlanta Teen Returns to Basketball After Surgery Restores His Vision
Georgia Retina Ophthalmologist Repairs A Macular Pucker for 14-year-old William Paschal
December 1, 2010—Atlanta teen William Paschal isn’t sure exactly what caused his vision problem. Everything was fine when he visited his eye doctor last spring for reading glasses, but without warning, he couldn’t see out of one eye.
Debra Paschal, William’s mom, explained that their regular eye doctor referred them to the specialists at Georgia Retina who found that William had a macular pucker that might have been caused by being hit in the head with a basketball.
Dr. Michael S. Jacobson, a board-certified ophthalmologist at Georgia Regina, said he “seldom sees this condition in kids. We usually see it in people in their 60s.”
He explained that a macular pucker is a condition in which a thin, elastic, nearly transparent membrane forms over the surface of the macula and causes the macula to be wrinkled. Like any scar tissue, it crinkles and contracts, causing vision to be degraded.
“William recalls being hit in the head by a basketball, but we may never know for sure what caused the problem,” Dr. Jacobson said. “In addition to the condition being rare in young people, it’s even more unique that his vision was so profoundly reduced by it.”
Dr. Jacobson worked with William on his pre-operative and post-operative care, and Dr. Robert A. Stoltz at Georgia Retina performed the surgery.
After surgery, William’s vision improved dramatically and he was able to return to the basketball court this winter. “His vision is almost back to normal,” Mrs. Paschal said.
“I’m so grateful for all the people at Georgia Retina. They were absolutely wonderful. They literally held our hands throughout the process. You take so much for granted that when you get up in the morning and open your eyes, you can see. I got quite an education about what goes on with your eyesight,” she said.
Dr. Jacobson said that after the surgery, William’s vision went from 20/200 in the injured eye to 20/50, and that he is back to full activities.
Dr. Jacobson, a board-certified ophthalmologist, has been working solely with retinal and vitreous diseases since 1987. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he attended the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and a two-year retinal and vitreous fellowship at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago.
Dr. Jacobson is a member of the American Medical Association, the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Stoltz, a board-certified ophthalmologist, graduated with honors from Union College in his native state of New York. He then received a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree in medicine and pharmacology from New York Medical College. His ophthalmology residency at the University of Pennsylvania Scheie Eye Institute was distinguished by his appointment as Chief Resident. Upon completing a two-year medical retina and vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. During this time, he also served as Chief of the Retina Service at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center.
At Georgia Retina, patients’ vision needs are the top priority. As one of the largest retina-only medical practices in the southeastern United States, Georgia Retina specializes in treating diseases of the retina, macula, and vitreous. Its nine board-certified ophthalmologists have received special Fellowship training in vitreo-retinal diseases and surgery, and are engaged in clinical trials with the goal of advancing research into retinal diseases, their causes, and their cures.