Patrick Gower opens up about his recent eyesight scare

goss 20/04/2021

One of New Zealand's most well-known faces in journalism has taken to his social media to reveal that he was uncomfortably close to completely losing sight in one eye.

Patrick Gower shared the emotional news alongside a post-surgery picture of him.

"Bit of news… I’ve just come back to work after 10 weeks recovering from emergency surgery on my left eye because my retina detached." he started in his post.

"I am stoked to say I can still see out of it, but to be honest it has been pretty brutal."

At times I thought I would lose my sight completely so this has given me a new perspective on how important our eyesight is.

"I feel lucky, relieved and very grateful. Today is my first full day back at work and it feels great." he continued.

"I have actually had the operation twice this year as the retina “re-detached” - I have spent most of the last 10 weeks recovering. This is an emergency operation because if the tear in the retina gets too big then you will go blind and there is nothing that can be done. They have to operate right away, it is quite scary."

"This amazing sight-saving surgery is called a “vitrectomy” where they get right inside your eye and laser it back together then put a gas bubble in to hold it together while it heals. At times I thought my luck had run out and l was going to be blind in one eye. But instead there has been a good result and while there has been some adjusting to do I will have a normal life!"

"If you are wondering, my retina has a genetic structure that makes it detach - my right eye detached back in 2014."

Last week I was too scared to come back to work on live TV, and have been thinking about keeping it quiet because it feels as if I have a weakness.

"But I have always been open about my eye issues and to the 180,000 Kiwis wo are blind/low vision I just want to say “I see you”."

"As people know I also have Glaucoma, which is not related to the retina issue at all! It does mean that I am super-vigilant about my eyes, I cannot stress enough that you should have your eyes checked out! Thank you so much to the amazing surgeons, opthamologists, optometrists, nurses, and opthamologic assistants and just everybody who has looked after me! "

Glad to hear you are on the mend, Paddy. All the best!