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Patients Who Have Received Services from LVRS

Eye Doctors Who Like to Refer Their Patients to LVRS

Shellie Hansen

Shellie HansenI am Shellie Hansen and I am 47 years old and legally blind. I have an eye disease called Histoplasmosis. This disease causes the blood vessels in the retina to break and bleed, diminishing my central vision. It targeted my right eye in 1982 and then in 1999 it hit my left eye. I was finishing my Master's degree in Human Resources, and was forced to take a semester off to stabilize what remained of my sight. Through the help of my family and friends I was able to finish my Masters. The most heartbreaking part of the whole experience was losing my ability to continue with my job, losing my mobility, and being unable to read. Since then I have had numerous surgeries to stabilize and stop further damage.

In early 2009 I developed cataracts on both eyes. I had surgery to have them removed and had lenses implanted. The implants gave me a little distance sight but resulted in losing most of my remaining close-up sight. My vision changes constantly so I am forced to adjust to less, which results in changing depth.

The necessity to go from a highly functioning, well paid adult to reliance on others for help was really hard. This changed when I met Bryan. He provided assistance and the tools that have allowed me to regain some of my independence.

The tools he has provided are the EZ Read electronic reading aid which enlarges the written word so I am able to read. That is incredible. I love sporting events and have only been able to listen. With the aid of the MaxTV I have been able to follow some of the action on the field of play. He has also provided me with various magnifying devices that help as well.

Incredible training methods, with simple adjustments to the way I use my remaining sight has changed the way I function. An example is training my focusing. Most of my sight is located in the upper left corner of my left eye, Bryan taught me to make the best use of this sight by moving things, such as my dinner plate, 2 inches to the right. He taught me about the importance of good lighting. Also, contrast of black against white, white against black.

Bryan is friendly, knowledgeable, and very concerned with my well-being. He doesn't just give me devices and knowledge and turn me loose, but consistently checks my progress and offers support and help.

-Shellie Hansen

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Leo Milligan

Shellie HansenI was a multi-branch manager for a large national food company and was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget for many years. During that time I was able to complete my Masters degree in night classes. In addition, my favorite pastime was reading. After I retired, I began to notice a gradual change in my ability to see clearly. In time, I decided to make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist, Dr. David Brodstein, at the Country Hills Eye Center in Ogden, Utah. Upon examination, I was told that I had macular degeneration, which worsened over time to a point where Dr. Brodstein felt that I needed further help. He recommended that I see Bryan Gerritsen in the Country Hills facility. I followed through with his recommendation and met with Mr. Gerritsen and was very impressed with the array of visual devices available that could help me to be able to do some of the things I needed and enjoyed doing in my everyday life. Especially helpful is a projection screen that allows me to be able to see my bank statements and enjoy daily scripture reading. Bryan also provided me with a fine little lighted magnifying glass that enables me to see numbers and letters wherever I am, like the on the thermostat and on the microwave oven, as well as the letters on soup cans so I can see what I am having for lunch! These devices have helped me to be more independent and less of a burden to other people. Mr. Gerritsen has been immeasurably helpful in providing me with useful devices and assisting me with his professional and courteous services, for which I am extremely grateful.

-Leo Milligan

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Mark K.

My name is Mark, and I have Stargardt disease, which is a juvenile form of macular degeneration. I had symptoms as early as I can remember. I did not seek advice from an ophthalmologist until I was in medical school at about age 23. I can't remember how quickly I progressed to 20/200, but it was pretty fast - a few years at most. Progression then slowed significantly. However, this did not stop my dreams or my life goals.

If you or someone you know has Stargardt disease, first let me express my sympathy for you. I'm sure it feels very wrong to have you or your children affected by this disease. However, having a vision problem has not been a big tragedy for me, and there has been a silver lining in the cloud.

Reading is a challenge. I have used strong reading glasses and other strong magnifiers for most of the reading that I have done ever since my early twenties. I obtained these and accompanying training from Bryan Gerritsen at Low Vision Rehabilitation Services. I still use Bryan in Salt Lake City, and he is terrific. His telephone number is: 801-547-5903 or email:

I use large fonts on my computer screen and use modern photocopiers to increase font size of published manuscripts. I enjoy listening to books on tape. As the population ages, there is more and more media and literature available in large font and on tape, or a digital format from the internet.

There are many other devices designed for helping people with reduced visual acuity. I have tried many of these things, including lots of computer software, but have ended up falling back on the tools that I have described above. Everyone is different, and you or your children should experiment with different tools to see what works best. Again, a good low vision clinic will be a good help. Driving is an issue. I get around by walking, jogging, bicycling, taxis, and public transportation. It helps me keep in shape and I meet lots of good people on buses and trains. I think it is important that you or your children keep an open mind and a positive attitude about the things that you or they can do. Don't let someone else tell you what can and cannot be done. I believe that you will find that you can do much more than most people would imagine.

-Mark K.

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Kayce Benzon.

I have been working with Bryan for about 5 years and will always be grateful to my Doctor for recommending Bryan’s services.  I have purchased more than a half dozen low vision products through Bryan and am so grateful to the changes they have made in my life.  Bryan is great to work with. He is patient and is extremely knowledgeable of each of his products.  I had no idea there were so many tools out there to help me see better.  It has been really difficult losing my vision and Bryan has made all the difference in helping me adjust to my vision loss.   Thank you!

-Kayce Benzon

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Robert Wing, M.D.

Robert Wing To Whom It May Concern: I am a general ophthalmologist in Bountiful, Utah, having started my practice in 1981. As I have grown older, so have my patients. Many of them suffer from a severe and common cause of visual loss called macular degeneration. Although some patients can be treated medically, often the problem is irreversible and relentless, the patient gradually losing his or her central vision that robs them of their ability to read, enjoy television, and most importantly, may cause them to lose their driving privilege.

I have worked with Dr. Robert Christiansen and his associate Bryan Gerritsen for the past 22 years. They have provided excellent help to my Low Vision patients. For this group of patients, seeing doctors about their visual problems is usually discouraging and depressing. Being shown assorted Low Vision aids and providing appropriate training can encourage these patients, helping them to feel there may be some hope to maintain as much independence as possible.

We are so fortunate to have the services of Dr. Robert Christiansen and Bryan Gerritsen just a few minutes away from Bountiful. Their staff is always willing to schedule my referred patients promptly, and I am also happy to receive a report on each patient who is referred to their Low Vision Rehabilitation Service.

-Sincerely, Robert Wing, M.D. Bountiful Hills Eye Center

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Michael Pingree, M.D.

Michael Pingree My name is Michael Pingree, M.D. I have an independent, established Ophthalmology practice in the West Valley area.

I have several elderly patients in my practice who, unfortunately, suffer from permanent vision loss. Many of these patients experience frustration with the inability to do the activities they used to enjoy, such as, reading the newspaper, playing cards, or knitting. Some are unable to see well enough to look up a phone number or even take the right medication. In this respect, they lose much of their independence.

I refer many of my patients to Low Vision Rehabilitation Services (LVRS) for their low vision needs. They kindly evaluate and serve my patients in the office of Robert Christiansen, M.D. near the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. Also, they provide a simple, convenient way for me to refer to them. During a busy clinic it is a great comfort to me to be able to refer a patient needing extensive training in low vision aids. I have been very pleased with the care they render to my patients. They have many suggestions and devices to assist patients with their daily tasks at home. There are lots of magnifying devices as well as lighting tools to help them see to write checks, read the paper, or to better see a recipe. I feel that my patients benefit from this service and, in many cases, experience an improvement in their quality of life.

- Michael Pingree, M.D.

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