Not eligible for LASIK? Permanent contact lenses can be a game-changer when it comes to vision

MINNEAPOLIS — More people than ever now have a chance of having 20/20 vision.

There is a new type of permanent contact lens that is open to young people and people who are not eligible for LASIK.

The FDA recently approved the EVO lens. WCCO discovered how it changed the life of a Plymouth woman at a time when she needed it most.

Elizabeth Bullis lost her beloved husband last May after a fierce battle with brain cancer.

“Justin was probably the nicest person in the world I’ve ever met. No meanness in him,” Bullis said. “I was my husband’s primary caretaker for the two years, you know. In the home hospice, I was there every day, every operation.”

So, as part of her grieving journey, the newly single mother learns to take care of herself.

“It became a time of, ‘What can I do for myself now? What will improve my health, what will improve my family’s health next?’ And I’m their last parent and I have to be the best I can for them,” Bullis said.

She started with her vision. She was legally blind without glasses. Her vision was so bad she didn’t qualify for LASIK, but she does qualify for EVO permanent contacts, which are inserted under the iris.

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“Patients like Liz are legally blind without their glasses, so she couldn’t see more than 4 inches from her face,” said Dr. Ralph Chu of the Chu Vision Institute. “And after the surgery, she was able to see me, read my badge from across the room, and it was amazing to see those tears of joy.”

She broke down in tears of joy right after the 20-minute procedure.

“What’s exciting about the EVO implantable contact lens is that it really opens up the range of patients who qualify for vision correction surgery,” Chu said.

Bullis marvels at his 20/20 vision.

“The ability to see clearly right after surgery is life changing,” Bullis said.

And even if her life will never be the same again, she finally sees things more clearly. She laughs and smiles thinking of Justin.

“He would be excited!” Bullis said.

The EVO procedure, which is not covered by insurance, costs approximately $4,500 per eye. It is surgically reversible.

About Marion Alexander

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