Category Archives: Friends and Patients

Carol Marsh-Urquhart (at Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines) Helps a Local Child in Need…In More Ways Than One!

Our Lead Technician, Carol Marsh-Urquhart and her very special friend, Corey

Two 11 year old kids – Corey and Alliston –  came into the Visionary Eyecare Office in Pembroke Pines… they were selling candy  TO BUY THEIR OWN school supplies when our lead tech, Carol Marsh-Urquhart, was in charge. Carol was so touched by their humbleness and exuberant entrepreneurial energy in finding a way to buy their own school supplies that she thought of ANOTHER WAY to help them get their supplies.
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She contacted her church – Christ The Rock in Cooper City – and inquired about any program that would help kids in need. Carol was able to get 2 book bags filled with school supplies for the two youngsters.  She then called the kids, Corey and Alliston, who were extremely happy to FINALLY have their school supplies!!!
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During this encounter, Carol also had noticed that Corey had a very severe and cosmetically troublesome eye turn and thought about ways in which she could help him with his problem – maybe there was a way that she could help him get his eyes properly aligned….
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Carol spoke with our Eye Doctor, then connected him with Nova Optometry Pediatric Department for his specialized optometrist eye exam and then connected him with the Lenscrafters OneSight Program so he was able to get a new pair of glasses.
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Carol also was able to contact a local  Pediatric Ophthalmologist,  Dr Bruce Miller,  for Corey. After a couple of visits to the Ophthalmologist, surgery is now scheduled to correct Corey’s eye turn. Corey’s mother had absolutely NO IDEA that her son’s eye turn could be resolved – she thought that Corey was just born that way and that nothing could be done about this very cosmetic eye turn problem.  She thought that Corey would have to live with his eye turn forever.
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Corey and his mother are now eternally thankful to Visionary Eyecare’s lead tech, Carol, for helping her son to be able to live his life without this troublesome eye turn – called strabismus.
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YouTube Video Patient Testimonial: Susan Scott

Susan Scott is a local artist and patient of Dr Dawn Bearden at Visionary Eyecare (The Indepenedent Doctor of Optometry Next to Lenscrafters) in Pembroke Pines.  She had previously always had a problem finding an eye doctor who could address all of her creative and artistic visual needs.

One day she was having problems doing an art project and her friend, Evelyn (who is an artist and a patient of Dr Bearden) recommended that Susan go to see Dr Dawn Bearden.

This is Susan’s story…

While Susan and Evelyn were doing an art project together  –  Susan had THREE pairs of glasses in front of her and still seemed to be having difficulty seeing what she was doing.  None of the glasses seemed to meet her artistic visual needs.  She felt that she just could not find an Eye Doctor that could give her a prescription that would allow her to see clearly enough to create her art.

After Susan was recommended to Optometrist,  Dr Dawn Bearden, from her friend, Evelyn, she realized that Dr Bearden is ALSO an artist.  Evelyn originally met Dr Bearden Evelyn because Evelyn was teaching Dr Bearden how to make stained glass art at her store – Glass By Design.  Dr Bearden is also passionate about photography.  Dr Bearden started taking pictures around age 12 when she was in middle school, she had minored in Photography in College and also had recently attended the Ft Lauderdale Art Institute for Photography.   For as long as she can remember – Dr Bearden has ALWAYS had a camera in her hand.  Susan felt a connection with Dr Bearden because she felt that they were both artistic and creative individuals.   She felt at ease because she knew that THIS particular Doctor would understand her specific visual needs.

After the eye exam, Susan was very happy with the thoroughness of the eye examination.  She FINALLY received a glasses prescription that met ALL of her artistic visual needs and she was impressed that the Doctor answered all of her questions in a very clear manner in which Susan could completely understand.

Susan recently moved to Washington, DC – BUT, she still plans yearly trips to South Florida so she can come to Visionary Eyecare and see Dr Dawn Bearden for her annual eye exam.

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Video Testimonial: Starlene Carter Talks About How A Routine Eye Exam Pupillary Dilation Saved Her Vision

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Starlene Carter came into Visionary Eyecare (Next to Lenscrafters) in Pembroke Pines in January 2001.  She was in the area and decided to stop in to schedule an eye examination for herself the following week.   She was not intending to get an eye exam that day – her plans were to spend that day shopping!

Our Office Manager, Carol Marsh, was there that day and convinced Starlene to go ahead and get her eye exam that same day since the office was not busy and the Doctor (Dr Dawn Bearden) would be able to see her right away.  Starlene agreed but, was insistent that she would NOT have her pupils dilated that day.  Her shopping was waiting and she did not want to “mess up her day” with that “dilation thing”.  Carol told her that the Doctor would talk to her during the exam about the importance of dilation.  Still Starlene would just not be convinced….

When Starlene met Dr Bearden for the first time – Dr Bearden began to explain and stress the importance of pupillary dilation.  Dr Bearden  explained that this was Starlene’s  first eye exam in our Visionary Eyecare office, there could be a multitude of eye diseases or problems that Starlene may be unaware of (because most eye problems do NOT cause any symptoms like blurry vision, headache, eye pain etc) and that Dr Bearden may NOT be able to detect these issues if Starlene did not allow the Doctor to dilate her pupils.  Dr Bearden also explained that Florida laws requires your Optometrist to dilate your pupils on the initial eye exam when you have an eye exam with a new Optometrist.  Reluctantly…..VERY reluctantly….Starlene finally agreed.

This simple decision absolutely saved Starlene’s vision.

During the eye exam, all seemed very normal.  Starlene had no family history of eye disease, she was able to see 20/20 in each eye with her new glasses prescription, she had NO eye pain, NO headaches, NO discomfort, her eye pressures were normal, her blood pressure was normal, good color vision etc.  But, when Dr Dawn Bearden dilated Starlene’s pupils – she saw 2 very LARGE retinal tears (retinal detachments) in Starlene’s right eye that posed a HUGE threat to Starlene’s vision in her right eye.  These tears could have eventually caused blindness in her eye had they not been detected during the dilation and then properly treated.

Immediately,  Dr Bearden called Dr Jay Levy – who is a local ophthalmologist who specializes in surgery of the retina.  Dr Bearden sent Starlene to see Dr Levy – who did surgery on Starlene’s right eye to repair the retinal tears in her right eye.

Starlene is now a loyal patient of Dr Dawn Bearden’s. She is still able to see 20/20 in each eye and has had no further problems from the retinal tears that were surgically repaired by Dr Levy.  Each and every year during her routine eye exam with Dr Bearden, you can find Starlene out in the waiting room telling her story to ALL of the other patients in the office.  She does a GREAT job in educating people and everyone that she comes in contact with about the importance of yearly eye examinations and the VITAL importance of pupillary dilation.

It saved Starlene’s vision…..and it can do the same for you and for the people in your life who come in for their annual eye exam!

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Our Condolences To The Family Of Our Patient – Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson had been a trusting and loyal patient of  Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines  for over 10 years.  Earlier this year he even recorded a public Video Testimonial for his Eye Doctor – Dr Dawn Bearden – which appeared on YouTube, our blog and our website.  Tragically, on Tuesday September 29th on the 10pm news,  Channel 7’s  reporter – Nicole Linsalata – reported that Scott and his wife (Julie) were found shot in their home in Pembroke Pines.  During the news report – they aired clips of Scott’s Video Testimonial for his Optometrist (Dr Bearden) that they found on YouTube.

According to the news report by Channel 7 – Scott’s 18yo son, Andrew, called police around 330am saying that someone had broken into their home and that his parents had been shot.  Scott and his wife were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital where he was listed in critical condition and his wife was listed in serious condition.

The news report stated that Scott fell in love and married his next door neighbor (Julie) on the 4th of July of this year.  Friends said that he was a wonderful friend and a happy newlywed.

Dr Bearden clearly remembers Scott to be a very sweet, caring and loyal man.  She was shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news of her longtime patient.

Sadly, the Broward edition of the Miami Herald reported that Scott died from his injuries on Friday Oct 2nd.

This case is still under investigation and if you have ANY information – please call Broward Crime Stoppers (www.wsvn.com) 954-493-TIPS.

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Video Testimonial – A Mother Speaks From the Heart About Her 5 Year Old Son and How an Eye Exam Changed His Life

This is a story of how an eye exam can actually change the course of a child’s life.

Jennifer is a loving mother of an 5 year old little boy.  Her son is absolutely adorable and a really good child yet, in school  he was being labeled a “difficult / problem child” and a “disturbance in the classroom”. He often did not want to pay attention in school, frequently “acted out” and even threw his books.  He just did not seem to be interested in reading or learning – at ALL.

As a mother, she knew that this behavior in school seemed a bit odd and out of character for the sweet, loving boy that she knew her son to be at home.  The comments from the school really alarmed Jennifer that something was definitely wrong.

Her young son had passed his Pediatrician’s vision screening, AS WELL AS the school vision screening but, acting on motherly instinct – she ignored the comments that “his vision is fine” and took him to see the Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden, for a routine eye exam.  Eye Doctor,  Dr Bearden,  manages the Visionary Eyecare (Independent Doctor of Optometry) offices next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pines and Sunrise and also next to Pearle Vision in Davie.

During the routine eye examinationDr Bearden discovered that Jennifer’s son was able to read the eye chart with just a little bit of blur but, he needed eyeglasses to correct the strain that he was feeling while reading.  Once the strain was relieved from wearing the glasses full time…the child suddenly became more attentive in school and began reading ALL THE TIME.

Actually, he loved reading SO MUCH that he won an award from his kindergarten teacher for reading!!  He even received an award from the school’s Principal for “Most Improved Reader”…he actually read 26 books within 30 days.  WOW!!

Jennifer is now a HUGE advocate to have children get eye exams from an eye doctor and for parents NOT to be lulled into complacency by their child passing a vision screening.  Her child could have gone through life in the classroom being labeled a “problem” and a “disturbance” simply because he could not see well and his eyes were being strained in school.

Jennifer states the following in her video:

No matter how well a parent THINKS their child sees well or if a child is labeled a “problem” in the classroom because he does not pay attention…it may just be because he can’t see well.

The eye exam has made a HUGE difference and my son has excelled, he is doing wonderful and his behavior is like “night and day”!

“I’m a big ADVOCATE…get your child checked by a (eye care) professional!!”

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Testimonial: Patient – Judy McNab – Looses Glasses, Gets Eye Exam in Pembroke Pines and Dr Dawn Bearden Finds A Tumor in Her Left Eye

Judy McNab shares her full story

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Judy McNab never really felt the need for yearly eye examinations until she started to need glasses in her 40’s and 50’s.  Like most people, she thought she did not need to see an eye doctor if she did not need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.

One day she came into Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines for an eye exam because she lost her glasses.  She was not having any problems with her eyes, no eye pain or pressure, no headaches, no vision problems….nothing.  She just wanted to quickly get an eye examination so she could get a new prescription to buy a new pair of glasses at Lenscrafters.

During the eye exam at Visionary Eyecare  (the Independent Doctors of Optometry next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pines),  Judy was able to see 20/20 in the examination room, her eyes looked perfectly healthy during the dilated retinal examination and also on the digital photographs taken of the inside of Judy’s eyes.   During the examination, Eye Doctor –  Dr Dawn Bearden recommended that Judy get a visual field (peripheral vision) test as a baseline – because Judy was over the age of 40 (much like a baseline mammogram is done at age 40) .  This test is an advanced test that is not part of the routine eye examination and would take extra time and cost Judy extra money (unfortunately – unlike a baseline mammogram-  most medical insurances and vision plans and will NOT pay for this preventative testing as a baseline).  At first, Judy did not want to take the time to do the additional test but Dr Bearden explained that visual field testing could uncover early and subtle eye health issues that sometimes a routine eye exam could not.  Judy was convinced and did the additional visual field test… and the results came back positive – TWICE.

Dr Bearden immediately referred Judy to an ophthalmologist for a secondary evaluation. At first,  Judy did not really want to see the ophthalmologist…..she kept telling Doctor Bearden that her vision was fine and she was not having any problems or symptoms….but, Dr Bearden INSISTED that she go for the secondary evaluation.   Judy did see the ophthalmologist, who then referred her to Bascom Palmer in Miami to see an eye doctor that specializes in eye tumors and eye cancer.

Judy was diagnosed with a tumor in her left eye and had laser treatment to help destroy the tumor in her left eye.  This was in 2005.  Now in 2009 Judy still has good vision in her left eye (she is able to see 20/25 in that eye).  Luckily, the tumor did not spread to anywhere else in her body and the surgeon was able to treat the tumor without having to remove Judy’s eye.

Judy shares her experience in the above and below videos.  She reminds us all that YEARLY eye exams are very important to help detect eye health issues that you may be unaware of… since many eye health issues DO NOT CAUSE SYMPTOMS and can only be detected by a COMPREHENSIVE eye exam.

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Judy McNab – short video testimonial

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These videos and many more educational videos and testimonials can be found on the Visionary Eyecare YouTube Channel…..CLICK HERE to check it out!

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Pictures of the Patient Appreciation Event at Pembroke Pines Visionary Eye Care

Well, if you were there – we’re sure you had a great time….Free Gift, Free Chair Massage, Raffle for Free IPod!! Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines created a really fun Patient Appreciation event along with Lenscrafters Customer Appreciation event….. and here are the pictures to prove it!

Every Visionary Eye Doctor – Dr Dawn Bearden, Dr Anna-Kay Tenn and Dr Emily McCulloh – enjoyed seeing many previous patients again for their annual eye exam at our Pembroke Pines Eye Clinic.

We’ll keep you posted if we do another Patient Appreciation Event!

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