Exceptional eye care inspires giving

March 23, 2018

Earlier this year, Elise Carlson thought she had scratched her eye. She was bothered by blurry vision, pressure and occasional pain. But Dr. Blaine Zieman, Sanford optometrist, suspected something much more serious was causing the symptoms.

After a standard exam, he spent more time identifying the problem and eventually diagnosed Carlson with a detached retina. She panicked.

“Dr. Zieman and his staff helped calm me down while coming in and out of the exam room as they tried relentlessly to get me seen urgently in Fargo for eye surgery,” Carlson told us.

Carlson was so moved by Zieman’s extra efforts, she recognized him through a Guardian Angel gift to the Sanford Health Foundation. The Guardian Angel program gives patients and their families the opportunity to thank a caregiver who made a special impact during a medical experience.

“I just wanted to recognize this team for diagnosing an eye emergency when at first glance it seemed routine,” Carlson said.

Dr. Zieman went above and beyond to arrange a preoperative appointment before surgery, gave Carlson’s husband driving directions and explained calmly to both of them what to expect before, during and after surgery.

Today, she’s grateful to have regained her healthy vision.

“It was a scary situation, but Dr. Zieman helped me and my family through it,” Carlson said. “I look forward to continuing my eye health journey with him. I don’t ever want to take my vision for granted again.”