Ramsgate 101-year-old Mary Teal has vision restored by East Kent Hospital surgeons

Mary Teal with the surgical team

By Liz Crudgington

A Ramsgate centenarian is looking forward to a summer of watching sport after surgeons at East Kent Hospitals carried out a successful cataract operation.

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Nick Kopsachilis was able to remove a cataract in 101-year-old Mary Teal’s left eye, restoring her vision and allowing her to once again indulge in her passion of watching tennis on TV.

The great-grandmother lost the sight in her right eye several years ago, so before the procedure had very little vision and was unable to carry out many of her favourite activities, including reading and crosswords.

The team believe she could be the oldest person in Kent to have had successful cataract surgery, which involves replacing the cloudy lens inside her eye with an artificial one, and possibly the oldest in the country.

Mr Kopsachilis said: “Mary had a very difficult cataract but we were able to remove it and the outcome has been very positive for her.

“She was an amazing patient and a pleasure to look after. I am very proud of our theatre staff and the effort put in by the whole team to help restore as much of her vision as possible.”

Mrs Teal, who worked in accounts before she retired, lives in a care home in Ramsgate and her daughter Margaret Axon said the procedure had made a real difference to her quality of life.

She said: “Before the surgery her quality of life was non-existent. She had no real vision and she was very frustrated.

“She has always enjoyed reading and crosswords, and loved to watch the tennis on TV and she couldn’t do any of that.

“We did have some concerns before the procedure because of her age but we talked it through and her attitude was that she wanted to give it a try.

“It was her decision and she was very optimistic, and it’s wonderful that it has made such a difference.

“We put our confidence in the doctors and the team were marvellous, I couldn’t fault them at all.”


  1. That is a brilliant story. Well done Mary and thank you Nick Kopsachilis for believing that at any time of life and at any age people deserve good care and treatment.
    You are both a true inspiration,

  2. I had both eyes done when I was in my early 70’s, and it cost me £200.00 to have my then flat re-decorated because I didn’t realise how filthy it was! My Dad lost an eye in the early 70’s due to a botched cataract operation, but its far more successful nowadays!

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