We caught up with Charlie and Pam Smith to chat with them about their experiences with telehealth and learn a little more about them.

Charlie is a native Chicagoan and Cubs fan – who gave up on his dreams of pitching for the Cubs when he was drafted to serve during WWII. He was at the Battle of the Bulge and the Invasion of Germany. He spent his career working with BMO Harris bank.

Charlie lost his vision in 2007 due to giant cell arteritis. He lost the vision in one eye and while that was being treated he lost the vision in his other eye. Since then his vision loss has been stable.

When the time came for Charlie’s appointment, the Deicke House of Hope was closed. So they decided to give telehealth a try. “The experience was almost as good as being in Tracy’s office,” says Charlie, “I would recommend doing it a 100%.”

Pam, Charlie’s coach said that the process for getting into the meeting was very easy. “It is so simple, you just click the link and enter your name and wait until you are called into the meeting. We didn’t know what to expect and quite honestly we were amazed. It was just like an in-person appointment.”

Every patient receives a packet of materials that will be used during the appointment. Charlie recommends making sure you are in a well-lit room without any glare before using them. “Using the exam materials was really well explained. It was great that I had Pam, my coach, to help out, but it is possible to manage on your own.”

The Smiths also had a telehealth appointment with Katrina, our Occupational Therapist. “That was great. We got some tips about making our home more accessible and she also gave us ideas about how to navigate things during the pandemic,” said Charlie.

We asked the Smiths what they would say to someone who might be unsure about doing a telehealth appointment. “Do it! You will not regret it. It really is just like being in the office. It is so user friendly and everyone is so easy to talk to, it is fun, rewarding and easy.”