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Transport Policeman saves child on train tracks due to free laser eye surgery from Optical Express

A Police Officer who saved a child who was in serious danger after wandering onto train tracks has said confidence in his eyesight was essential to spotting the child when exploring the surrounding area.

Matthew Denton, who has worn glasses since the age of six, commented that wearing glasses on shift meant that if knocked off, his vision would be blurry. He says his vision is a crucial part of him having the ability to save lives and prevent accidents.

Matthew, an Officer with the British Transport Police in Peterborough, received free laser eye surgery as a result of Optical Express’s ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign.

He said: “One time at work there was a child on a train track, and I had to search an area of the track, whilst exploring the area, I saw a child appear on the line and was thankfully able to save them. It is essential to have confidence, to know that what I'm seeing is clear and isn’t hindered. Since I’ve had the surgery I feel liberated. I'd like to say thank you to Optical Express for this opportunity.”

Other Police Officers who say their eyesight hindered them on shift have also said that having laser eye surgery has aided them when working long hours on the job.

Arun Robertson, an Armed Vehicle Response Officer, and Chris, a Police Officer, said that as a result of the laser eye surgery, confidence in their eyesight has returned. They said that this allowed them to continue to improve vital skills in their roles such as marksmanship, identifying critical risks and responding quickly to emergency situations to prevent accidents.

The Officers had cited concerns with dry eyes resulting in irritation, effects of rain on visibility, a lack of confidence in their glasses staying on and not steaming up and losing lenses whilst performing their vital roles within the force, as reasons for receiving laser eye surgery.

Arun complained that during his shift he needed to remove his lenses due to dry eyes, but as it was raining, he was unable to wear his glasses, and he had to continue wearing lenses despite his discomfort.

Arun said:

“The most challenging part of my job as an Armed Vehicle Response Officer is the need to train and complete marksmanship assessments every three months. To ensure that Officers have accuracy and are as safe as possible in their duties, a high level of accuracy and good eyesight is very important.”

Laser eye surgery has allowed me to do my job to the best of my ability. I don’t have tired and dry eyes all the time when on duty. The staff at Optical Express have helped me through every part of the process, from getting appointments, to the surgery day itself whilst being very professional and caring. I am very grateful to be chosen for the Thanks a Million campaign.”

Thanks a Million’ is a campaign by the UK’s leading provider of laser eye surgery to give away another £1 million worth of free surgery to Emergency Service Workers across the UK in recognition of the service and sacrifices they have made, particularly during the pandemic.

Chris commented that he rarely wore glasses at work due to the risk of them steaming up or being knocked off during a confrontation.

Chris said:

“During an emergency call out in the early hours of the morning, I was wearing lenses and my eyes were very dry, I itched my eye and it knocked out my contact lens. I had to return to the station and another police unit responded which caused unnecessary stress to myself and my colleagues.

“The Thanks a Million campaign has truly changed my life for the better. It is honestly such a great gift to have perfect unaided vision. I would recommend Optical Express to everyone considering laser eye surgery.”

Optical Express CEO and founder David Moulsdale has said:

Brave Policemen and Policewomen work long hours, in often dangerous situations, to keep the public safe. Having to work in precarious situations, the last thing anyone would want is to have the worry about something so fundamental as their sight. Through this campaign, Optical Express is giving back to those who give so much to the public through their service. If this makes even a small difference to their quality of life and work, it will be worth it”.

It is the second time that Optical Express has chosen to thank NHS and Emergency Service workers in this way. In 2017 they launched their first ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign which saw them give away over £1 million worth of free laser eye surgery. Over the course of the two campaigns more than £2 million worth of surgery will improve the lives of NHS and Emergency Service workers. Since Optical Express was founded over 32 years ago, the team are proud to have supported hundreds of humanitarian and philanthropic projects, donating over £33 million and counting to worthwhile causes in the UK and abroad.