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Patient Testimonials

Jane (Whitney) Gruson

We can’t remember the last time we wrote a fan letter to a physician.<!–more–>

But thanks to the outstanding care you’re providing to our father Leo C. Balzereit, it’s our pleasure to write in recognition of your exemplary efforts on his behalf.

You personify – ideally – what a doctor should be: superbly qualified to practice his specialty coupled with the willingness to spend whatever time is necessary to ensure the the patient is well-informed and comfortable with the treatment.

(We should also make special note of the critical “early warning” alert provided by your distinguished colleague David A Mittleman, M.D. who referred Dad to you directly. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Mittleman’s expertise in diagnosing the problem then following up quickly to maximize the chance of resolution.)

When it comes to professional and compassionate care, your staff – notably the exceedingly patient and well-informed Tracy – clearly take their cue from you. They have consistently addressed dozens of concerns and questions with grace and sensitivity.

Our only regret is the we can’t clone you so that other patients can experience what an optimum medical relationship can be.

Please know how much we appreciate everything you’re doing.

With heartfelt thanks,

Jane (Whitney) Gruson and Leo C. Balzereit

Ray Riddick – Stuart

I came to Dr. Michels with a diagnosis of macular degeneration. To me, this diagnosis was a terrible prognosis. If I lost my vision, I would no longer be able to drive which would completely alter my life. I was scared and worried. Dr. Michels was very reassuring on my initial visit. I was not only upset with the diagnosis, but anxious about the “needle in the eye” treatment. Dr. Michels very calmly and quietly reassured me that the injection would not be painful, and that my prognosis for improvement was excellent. Although I remained skeptical about improvement, I was very reassured about the injection. Dr. Michels was right on all counts. There was no pain and the loss of vision was not only halted, but improved. I could not believe how much better my vision became with treatments. I was so surprised and can not put into words, how pleased I am with my improved vision. I can continue to drive and my life can go on. Dr. Michels has a very calming demeanor that makes you feel that your problem is in good hands. Dr. Michels is highly skilled, competent physician. I would highly recommend Dr. Michels and his caring compassionate office staff. He saved the quality of my life.

Phyllis Collins – West Palm Beach

 Dear Dr. Gallogly,

When I visited the Retina Care Specialists office with a retinal detachment, you became my doctor. That day and now, eight months later, I thank you and God for your perseverance and determination to ease my concerns. I am extremely happy that I chose you to be my retina specialist. I appreciate the 100% attention you have given to my care.

I feel that my vision, after your care, is as good as it was before the retinal detachment. The Retina Care Specialists are fortunate to have you on their team. I’m convinced that because of your expertise, my future looks brighter. I feel blessed.

Thank you Dr. Gallogly.
Phyllis Collins

Karen Hedeler – Port St. Lucie

 I woke up one morning and thought I had gotten something in my eye. I tried to wash it out but when I continued to feel something unusual in my eye I went to my optometrist. The optometrist gave me eye drops, but when the eye drops didn’t work I was referred to retinal specialist Adrian Laviña, MD.

Upon my examination, Dr. Laviña diagnosed me with the wet form of macular degeneration in my left eye and the dry form of macular degeneration in my right eye. The vision in my left eye began to deteriorate quickly. I could not see the letters on the chart. My vision was worse than 20/400. At first Dr. Laviña treated me with monthly injections of Lucentis which seemed to help, because my vision was restored to 20/50 but after 6 months the vision declined again. Dr. Laviña performed additional testing and he determined that I was a candidate for laser surgery. The laser procedure was used to destroy the leaky vessels in my macula that were causing my poor vision. He told me he thought this procedure would help to restore my vision. I was terrified that I would lose my vision. Dr. Laviña assured me that he was doing everything he could to fix the problem and help me to regain my vision. After the laser procedure, my vision was restored to 20/30 and I have not needed any treatments since October 2009.

Dr. Laviña is a wonderful doctor. He was always very patient and understanding of my concerns. The treatments were not painful and the doctor took his time and explained everything to me which made me feel very comfortable. I received excellent care and I can see well again and do all of the things that I enjoy. When I spent time in the waiting room before my appointments, I would always hear other patients raving about Dr. Laviña and how well he takes care of his patients. I am extremely grateful to him for helping to restore my vision. The staff at Retina Care Specialists is very kind, compassionate and very professional. I am very fortunate to have Dr. Laviña as my doctor.

Lisa Flemming – Pembroke Pines, Florida

 On July 4, 2007, I realized that I had a problem. For many years, my ophthalmologist had warned me that due to my nearsightedness, I was at much high risk for a detached retina. For a day or two, I noticed more floaters, but just thought it would go away, but on this day, the dreaded curtain my physician had spoken of, was beginning to cover my vision.

A close friend recommended that I go to see a doctor in Miami. I was seen in the emergency room on July 4th and was instructed to come back the next day for surgery. I arrived at 7am and met my surgeon, Dr. Paul Gallogly. We discussed the procedure and what would happen if I did not have the surgery of if I did not follow his instructions very closely. As it were, I preferred not to wind up blind in that eye so I listened intently.

After spending most of my adult life working with surgeons, Dr. Gallogly was the most caring and compassionate physician I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. Dr. Gallogly was very informative, took time to answer my questions and make sure that I understood exactly what had happened, what he was going to do, and how we would work together to get back to good vision.

For the many visits I paid to Dr. Gallogly during my follow-up care, I never dreaded the visit and always looked forward to his pleasant demeanor and caring presence.

Now that Dr. Gallogly has moved to North Palm Beach County to continue his practice in retinal care, I drive religiously from South Broward County to have my follow-up visits. I have told all of my friends that it would not matter if he had moved to California, I owe my vision to him and would go wherever I needed to receive the excellent care that I received from Dr. Gallogly.

Richard Guiffreda – Palm City

 In November of 2005 the vision in my left eye began to deteriorate very quickly and by Christmas my peripheral vision and depth perception were also deteriorating. All of a sudden I couldn’t read books or newspapers, and I was having trouble on the computer. Driving was also out of the question.

I was referred to Dr. Adrian Laviña who told me that I was suffering from macular edema caused by retinal vein occlusion. A vein was blocked in my left eye and was leaking blood into the part of my eye that senses light. I thought I would permanently lose the vision in my eye.

Two things were frightening to me, I would be down one eye, and there’s no known treatment. Dr. Laviña told me about a clinical trial being studied in his practice that I might be a candidate for. The study was called Posurdex and I qualified for the study. Dr. Laviña placed a small injectable implant into the back of my eye that would release medication to treat the bleeding by reducing the swelling and hopefully improve my vision.

Within weeks, my vision improved. I received excellent care from not only Dr. Laviña, but the entire staff is fabulous. Everyone is very kind and caring. I was able to resume my normal activities and was also able to drive again which made my wife very happy. I am very grateful to everyone at Retina Care Specialists. Without their help, I might have lost my vision in my left eye.

Claire Parks – West Palm Beach

At age 77 I developed a hole in my macula. The vision in my left eye was getting progressively worse. It got so bad that I could barely see out of it. I was referred to Dr. Adrian Lavina who told me that the only way to repair my eye was to have surgery otherwise my vision would never get better. As reading is my love in life and I work as a librarian, I had no choice but to have the surgery. The surgery went extremely well, the only difficult part was after the surgery I had to lay face down for 10 days. Many people I know told me they could never do that, but I chose to make the best of it because it was so important for me to regain my vision. Dr. Lavina is a Godsend. He is super-wonderful! I felt extremely comfortable with him because he cares so much about his work and his patients. He gave me my life back. My experience at the surgery center was wonderful and Dr. Lavina’s staff is just as nice as he is.

Dr. Lavina told me that I could expect to get my vision back to the same as it was before the surgery. I find that my vision is even better now. In fact, I was recently able to renew my driver’s license. I can’t say enough about Dr. Lavina, he is one in a million!

William Gum – Hobe Sound

In 1995 I developed floaters and flashers in my right eye. At the time I was a pilot flying for Northwest Airlines and was in the orient for 10 days. I was unable to seek medical attention for this problem until I returned home. By the time I returned home I learned that I had a detached retina. Unfortunately for me, too much time had elapsed between my first symptoms and my return home and it was too late for me to have treatment that could save my vision. As a result, I am blind in my right eye.

Twelve years later, in 2007 I developed the same symptoms, flashers and floaters in my left eye. This time I went for immediate medical attention because I was fearful of losing my sight in my only seeing eye. I was referred to Dr. Adrian Lavina. At first Dr. Lavina lasered my eye to seal off blood vessels. Shortly after my laser surgery, I was still experiencing the floaters and flashers. This time Dr. Lavina ordered a sonogram of my eye. It was then determined that I had a detached retina in my left eye which required immediate surgery. In addition to the surgery, the recuperation period required me to lye face down for three weeks so that my eye could heal properly. I was allowed to get up to use the bathroom and to have meals, otherwise it was face down. Although this was quite challenging, I did what was required in order to preserve the vision my only good eye. The surgery went well and my eye healed well. It was also determined that I had a cataract in my left eye which was impairing my vision so when my  eye was totally healed, 6 months later, I had the cataract removed by a cataract specialist. I am happy to report that I now have 20/20 vision in my left eye.

Dr. Lavina and his staff were terrific. He is a wonderful doctor. He was always upbeat and encouraging telling me not to worry we’ll get you seeing again. He is responsive, reassuring and made me feel relaxed and assured that everything would work out well for me. I could have lost my vision completely! Being blind in my right eye obviously means that I depend totally on my left eye for everything. The thought of losing my vision in the left eye was very concerning to me but everything worked out better than I could have expected. It doesn’t get much better than 20/20! Thank you Dr. Lavina! I really enjoy relaxing outside and taking in the beautiful scenery of South Florida, I might not have been able to do this if it weren’t for you. Let this be a message to others to act quickly if you notice floaters or flashers in your field of vision. I didn’t realize how serious this was until I lost my vision because I didn’t have the chance to get immediate medical attention. The second time around, I acted quickly, got excellent medical attention and I am very grateful.