By Alexander Germanis
The weather has been sweltering for months. “Humid” does not even begin to describe the conditions. On some days, it feels like walking around while being smothered in a wet wool blanket. In other words, it’s a typical Central Illinois summer.
On yet another one of these typical Illinois summer days, Patrolman Jason Shumard of the Monticello Illinois Police Department has pulled someone over for a moving violation.
Before exiting his squad car, his heart rate, understandably, accelerates. Patrolman Shumard knows that, across the country and over the years, many police officers have been gunned down during one of these so-called routine traffic stops. Consequently, he doesn’t take anything for granted. Even the most seemingly straightforward stops could quickly turn into a life-or-death situation.
That doesn’t even take into account the dangers inherent in standing next to a car while other vehicles continue to speed past mere feet away.
As he opens his squad car door and steps into the sauna-like conditions, the patrolman’s eyeglasses fog up in less than a second. He is, for a moment, effectively blind — something no one, much less a law enforcement agent, wants to have happen.
That was part of a typical workday for Patrolman Shumard.
“This is what I would experience whenever I would exit my squad car or other cooler environment, into a warm one,” he remembers. “I would have to pause because of my glasses fogging up. Not the safest situation for a police officer approaching a vehicle when that officer doesn’t know who or what is in the car. This atmospheric occurrence was why I usually wouldn’t have my air conditioning on in the squad car.”
Even though many of us cannot fathom the idea of stopping a stranger and approaching their car in traffic, the thought of spending most of the day in the car without air conditioning is something most of us can imagine, and it’s an unpleasant thought at that.
The summer heat and humidity notwithstanding, the weather proved to be at odds with Patrolman Shumard’s work on a regular basis. “There were also incidents when rain or snow would hit my glasses at the most inopportune times,” he recalls. “Typically, this occurred on a traffic stop or some other outdoor activity in which cops usually find themselves.”
To Patrolman Shumard, the most logical solution to his dilemma — a solution that might save his life someday — was LASIK. A laser corrective eye surgery that reshapes the cornea of the eye in order to improve eyesight, LASIK has a proven track record. The cost of the procedure is, unfortunately, not covered by insurance plans.
“I had saved up what I needed to pay for the procedure,” the patrolman shares. “My wife and I had a few discussions about the money that we were going to pay for LASIK. I initially felt guilty about spending that much money, but after discussing the pros and cons relating to my job, she reassured me that it was time. I just had to do some saving to pay for it. When I did finally have the funds, it was awesome to hear that Eye Surgical Associates offered the Hero Discount.”
Eye Surgical Associates is happy to announce the Hero Discount is in effect yet again!
“Eye Surgical Associates is offering local heroes $1,000 off the standard fee for LASIK surgery through the end of 2018,” Practice Administrator Julie Payne says. “The offer includes a free LASIK screening to make sure the hero is a good candidate for the surgery. The screening must be completed by or before Monday, November 12, 2018 and the surgery completed by December 31, 2018.”
“We offered this discount last year and had eight heroes receive LASIK surgery,” Julie adds. “Our LASIK team really enjoyed meeting the heroes and the whole practice was proud to be part of giving something back to these individuals who give so much to us. We recognize the first responders, current military, and veterans’ roles in our community, and we want them to have the best eyesight possible to do the service and lifesaving work they do. It’s our way of showing our appreciation for their dedication.”
To learn more about Patrolman Shumard’s personal experience with LASIK, please read “The Hero Discount on LASIK, Part 2” in next month’s issue of Healthy Cells Magazine.
For more information about LASIK, laser refractive cataract surgery or any condition affecting the eyes, contact ESA Eye Surgical Associates at 309-662-7700. Ophthalmologists Daniel Brownstone, Catharine Crockett, Scott Pinter, and Optometrist Kathleen Vize will be happy to assist you. ESA is located at 1505 Eastland Drive, Suite 2200, Bloomington.