Keeping an eye on eye patient pays big dividends

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | May 24, 2013

Image with caption: Vikas Gulati, M.D.

Vikas Gulati, M.D.

Call it a twist of fate, divine intervention, or just plain luck, but whatever it was that led Ken Wright to UNMC that day saved his vision and -- more importantly -- his wife Jill's life.

On an overnight business trip to Omaha, Wright, CEO of Ken Wright & Associates, a management consulting firm, who lives in Niagara on the Lake, Canada, was in town for a business meeting with a local bank.

It was a Sunday evening, and Wright had dinner plans with an official from the bank when he noticed the vision in his right eye was blurry. In fact, a spot was forming and blocking his center vision.

Wright's business associate grew concerned and took him to the emergency room at Creighton University Medical Center. However, there was no ophthalmologist on call. Wright was immediately referred to The Nebraska Medical Center, where he met Eyal Margalit, M.D.

A retina specialist and professor in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UNMC, Dr. Margalit diagnosed Wright with a detached retina and scheduled him for immediate surgery the following day.

"That was two years ago, and my eyes have been stable ever since," Wright said.

On follow-up, Dr. Margalit referred Wright to Vikas Gulati, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, out of concern for potential risk of glaucoma.

And it was a chance phone call from Dr. Gulati that led the Wrights to James Armitage, M.D., a lymphoma specialist and professor in the UNMC College of Medicine -- a phone called that saved Jill's life.

"Dr. Gulati happened to call to see how I was doing, and I told him I was fine, but my wife was ill with what our doctor suspected might be lymphoma," Wright said. "Immediately, he referred me to Dr. Armitage."

That kind of phone call from a doctor would never happen in Canada, Wright said. "You can't even get through to the receptionist in their clinic, let alone expect to get a phone call from the doctor."

The care, concern, patience and attentiveness all of the physicians and nurses showed the Wrights was extraordinary, he said.

"My wife is in remission. My eyes are good. We are incredibly grateful to the medical center," Wright said.

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