“I felt as if the world was giving up on me.”
Photo: Nancee Lewis
One day while she was at work, Rosie Orduña reached down to pick something up from the floor.
“I felt something like a pop on the side of my head.” She remembers. When she stood up, all she could see was red.
Her doctor referred her to a specialist, who told her she had a detached retina in her left eye. She was just 26. At that point in her life, Rosie was working as a medical records specialist and had insurance. But after retinal repair surgeries and the recovery periods kept her away from her job for several months, her boss replaced her.
All this happened right after Rosie gave birth to her daughter Kassandra. Kassandra was born deaf, and Rosie communicates with her using American Sign Language.
Then she began to lose vision in her right eye, and along with it, her ability to communicate with her daughter. Getting to a doctor as soon as possible for treatment of her retina was critical to save her sight.
All this time Rosie was struggling to find some kind of insurance coverage. She was denied MediCal because the family income was above the eligibility level. “Even though my husband was working, without my income we struggled quite a bit,” she remembers. “I felt as if the world was giving up on me.”
A friend told her about a foundation that helped with eye surgery. “I looked it up on the Internet,” she says. Her research led her to the San Diego Host Lions Club, which helped her to apply and get help from LSH.
The doctors at Shiley Eye Center completed the necessary procedure for the retina of her left eye and repaired the retina of her right eye.
Now that she has her vision back, Rosie says, “Things are getting better. It’s still quite a struggle, but we’re managing.”
Kassandra has started preschool, and Rosie is hoping to find a part-time job she can do during the four hours when her daughter is at school.
Thanks to LSH, she has a chance to get on with her life – and to continue to communicate with Kassandra.