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Tulasi

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WINDOWS TO THE WORLD: STORY OF KENNETH GETWELL
A 45-year-old man who is president of his own billion-dollar independent oil exploration and refining company, Kenneth Getwell, Jr. of Houston, Texas, had exceedingly poor vision. In each eye the man had minus five diopters of nearsightedness, which gave him uncorrected vision of 20/400. It was necessary for him to wear eyeglasses during his waking moments, since without them Getwell couldn’t even count fingers held in front of his face.
In February 1984, the oil multimillionaire, a devoted family man, took his wife and three children to Acapulco for a weekend jaunt. Among them was his favorite offspring, little Georgie, age six, who loved to swim and jump in the waves. Getwell enjoyed watching the youngster play in the water.
The only time that the former wildcatter removed his spectacles during daylight activities was when he went swimming himself. Of course, without corrective lenses the man couldn’t see any kind of detail, just color differentiations among various shapes.
On this bright December afternoon gamboling on the beach and in the azure blue waters of the vacation resort, Getwell and Georgie were cherishing some time alone together. Nobody else was on their particular stretch of beach. Georgie ran into the waves and swam out to the open water. The father, seeing this, let the little boy go for a short distance. Then he became somewhat alarmed because he knew his young son was in the water well over his head. The man called for the child to turn back, but Georgie apparently did not hear.
Methodically Getwell removed his shirt, sneakers, and eyeglasses, tucked the spectacles safely into a tennis shoe, and stepped into the water. He couldn’t see anything much but did swim in the general direction where he thought Georgie to be. He swam and swam but seemed never to reach the boy. Getwell couldn’t see him or hear him; the tyke had just disappeared, and the father felt panic.
His eyes focused better underwater than in the air, since water magnifies underwater objects by 25 percent. Getwell spotted a dark spot about eight feet below him and dived toward it. It happened that the dark object was his son, whom he grabbed up and brought in to shore. The child was unhurt but thoroughly frightened. It had been his first experience with hazardous currents and undertow.
Getwell and his family were quite disturbed by this incident, which could be indirectly attributed to the father’s nearsightedness. As soon as he returned home, the man went to visit Warren D. Cross, M.D., an outstanding ophthalmologist who conducts eye surgery practices in two separate locations in Houston, Bellaire Eye Associates and Town and Country Eye Associates. Getwell told Dr. Cross that his myopic eyes were rather ineffective windows to the world, and he never wanted any accident similar to Acapulco’s to happen again. His preference was for permanent surgical correction of the five-diopter nearsightedness.
Using a high-tech vision technique, Dr. Cross performed the patient’s required refractive correction in one of his Houston-area offices. It was a highly successful operation. Following postoperative healing, Kenneth Getwell, Jr. was able to see with a perfect 20/20 vision. Wearing eyeglasses became totally unnecessary for the oil man, and he proceeded to throw them away. More complete pictures of the world now entered through his visual windows.
*1/127/5*

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