January 26, 2018 5:01 pm

Victim of random attack in Winnipeg’s Exchange District able to see again

Last summer Brittney Thomas-Ljungberg's eye was split open after she was randomly attacked in the Exchange District.

Riley McDermid / Global News
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A Winnipeg woman who thought she wouldn’t see out of her right eye again is now taking in all the sights.

Last summer Brittney Thomas-Ljungberg’s eye was split open after she was randomly attacked in the Exchange District. A stranger walked up to her near Rupert Avenue and Princess Street, punched her in the face then ran off. She said Winnipeg police still haven’t made an arrest.

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Her right eye split open and her retina ended up detaching. Her lens was also damaged beyond repair. With the help of doctors at the Misericordia Health Centre’s Eye Care Centre she regained sight in her eye.

READ MORE: Winnipeg woman randomly punched in Exchange District

“I can see, which is 100 times better than the original diagnoses which was, ‘you are going into surgery and you might not have your eye when you come back out,'” Thomas-Ljungberg said after an eye checkup Friday.

It took doctors several surgeries and months to get to this point.

“She had blood in her eye, developed a retina detachment and she had cataracts,” Frank Stockl, an ophthalmologist at the centre said. “So we fixed the detachment and removed the blood. At that time we had to take her lens out because it was damaged and I couldn’t see clearly to the back of the eye. In the fall we went back and put a lens implant in so she would have clear vision.”

READ MORE: First of many Winnipeg ER changes now in effect

Stockl wants people to know that even though the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre closed last year, the Eye Care Centre is still open 24 hours a day for eye emergencies.

“Any acute unexplained sudden loss of vision, pain, trauma and especially in the post-operative setting, including after cataract surgery and they have redness or pain,” he said.

The centre sees around 200 emergency patients every week.

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