• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Cincinnati Youth Choir’s conductor has sight restored with collaborative care approach

March 8, 2020

When doctors in Ohio told Robyn Lana they weren't sure whether a brain aneurysm they found behind her right eye socket was causing the vision problems she'd been experiencing, Robyn turned to Mayo Clinic. Not only did her Mayo care team identify the true cause of her vision loss, they fixed it.

In November 2018, Robyn Lana was faced with a serious and frightening problem. "I started losing the vision in my left eye rather suddenly," she says. "It came out of nowhere."

Robyn's failing vision affected all aspects of her life, including her work as founder, managing artistic director and conductor of the Cincinnati Youth Choir. "I travel around the country working with children's and other youth choirs, so my symptoms were really troubling," she says. "I couldn't drive myself to rehearsals, and had to cancel concerts and other out-of-state conducting gigs because my vision kept getting worse."

After testing by local care providers revealed Robyn had developed a brain aneurysm behind her right eye socket, she was hopeful that the cause of her vision problem had been identified and could be treated. Her medical providers, however, weren't so sure.

"They weren't convinced the aneurysm had anything to do with my vision loss, so they left it alone and told me not to worry about it," she says. But Robyn did worry. "It just wasn't a comfortable situation for me, so that's when I started doing my own research."

That research led Robyn to Mayo Clinic's Sharing Mayo Clinic blog, where she found the story of Judy Henderson. Judy also had dealt with vision problems, and they were found to be the result of a brain aneurysm that was successfully treated at Mayo Clinic by neurosurgeon Giuseppe Lanzino, M.D.

After reading her story, Robyn contacted Judy. "I reached out and asked her opinion of Dr. Lanzino," Robyn says. "She said: 'He's the best. He's wonderful. You have to go see him.'"

Robyn took that advice, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Lanzino at Mayo Clinic in Rochester as soon as she could. The appointment took place just as her vision was beginning to free fall.

"Dr. Lanzino saw me for the first time on Dec. 26, 2018," Robyn says. "By that time, my vision had rapidly declined to the point where I'd become legally blind in my left eye. The vision in my right eye was also starting to decline."

Read the rest of Robyn's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.