As an active, athletic, competitive 15-year-old, Amber Bosworth never thought about her vision, until she lost her sight in one eye.
In the spring of her freshmen year at Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, Texas, Amber was playing volleyball when another player came down from a jump and her elbow hit directly on Amber’s eye. Amber could not see at all from her left eye.
The first doctor she went to said he could not help her, and she feared the injury would mean permanent blindness in that eye. She then was fortunate to see Dr. Tosin Smith of Glaucoma Associates of Texas, who examined Amber’s eye and stated that she needed to have surgery in two hours. The diagnosis was a torn iris with bleeding into her eye. The drain in her eye had also been damaged by the blunt trauma her eye received. In the initial surgery, two incisions were made to allow for blood and fluid to drain and pressure to be relieved. The subsequent surgery was to create a drain in her eye to allow fluid to continue to find its way out of her eye – surgery for glaucoma called a trabeculectomy.
During the 8 days between the first and second surgeries, Amber and her parents educated themselves and got some additional opinions. However, Amber knew she was in excellent hands when Dr. Smith met her after office hours in order to relieve the pressure that had built up once again in her eye.
Amber’s first thought immediately after the injury was “will I still be able to play volleyball?” Doctors had warned her that any additional injury or a hard hit to her eye would leave her blind, and Dr. Smith would not be able to repair anything at that point. She tried sports goggles for eye protection, but teammates were afraid of harming Amber and would hold back in their play to make sure nothing bad happened. The game was suddenly no longer fun.
Amber decided to find a new focus and picked up golf because her brother was practicing his chips and putts. Over the next few months, she began to really love the game and tried out for her school team. The first time she tried out, Amber did not make the team. Instead, she was assigned to a developmental team. She quickly moved up to the official team and eventually earned a full scholarship to Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Undaunted by her injury, Amber found a way to live her life to the fullest potential. She has learned not to give up and knows that with any adversity, another door will open that just might lead to something better. For the past year and a half, she has played golf at the professional level.
Amber was told she would never see as well as she did before the injury. Today however, she wears no corrective lenses. She does occasionally wear glasses or sunglasses for extra eye protection on the golf course. This April will be 10 years since Amber’s injury. With Dr. Smith’s knowledge and skill and Amber’s determination, Amber is living a life on par.
You can follow Amber’s Instagram account @ladygolfers to keep up with her.