For this Toronto-area mother, driving her young sons around is a treat because, not long ago, she couldn’t drive at all.

She was on vacation in cottage country last summer when an infection led to a corneal ulcer, an open sore on the clear structure overlying the iris. Olejniczak arrived at a nearby hospital unable to see out of her left eye. She was sent to a specialist, who told her she would never regain vision in that eye.
She contacted ophthalmologist Dr. Christoph Kranemann and was feeling discouraged, even hopeless, when she walked into his office. In 2000 she had already been treated for retinal detachment in both eyes and in 2013 cataract in her right eye.

“After losing vision for the third time in my life I was at the point where I was thinking, ‘What’s next? What else is going to go wrong?’”

Kranemann told her she was not a candidate for traditional laser eye surgery, including LASIK or PRK, but he had some good news: She was a candidate for a laser vision correction procedure that Health Canada had approved just weeks before.

Olejniczak underwent small-incision lenticule extraction, or SMILE. She didn’t experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure and she enjoyed the benefits right away.

“When the operation was finished, I opened my eyes and I could see Dr. Kranemann’s face. Beforehand, I couldn’t see him at all through my left eye. The next day I was able to drive for the first time in almost a month. I was extremely happy.”

Kranemann and his staff noticed the dramatic shift in her mood. “We saw the difference right away,” he recalls. “She was smiling and showing happiness for the first time.”

Today, Olejniczak drives her sons to soccer, baseball, and swimming. She is also able to read without contact lenses or glasses.
“I wake up in the morning able to clearly see everyone and everything around me,” she says. “My life has changed dramatically and I’m very grateful.”