Passion for prosthetics
Two years and some 20 artificial eyes later, Collins realised he had developed a passion for the work. He travelled to England and apprenticed with Dr Pacey-Lowrie until he gained the skills to open his own shop in Varsity Lakes, Australia. “I’ve got a state-of-the art clinic that’s really growing into my dream,” he says.
Dr Pacey-Lowrie, meanwhile, is trying to bring the work to the next level by designing an eye whose pupil will dilate or contract according to light stimulus. He is collaborating with researchers at nearby Nottingham Trent University and the team have already developed a prototype using a capacitor and two electrodes.
“It does work,” said Dr Pacey-Lowrie. “It needs more research. But given the money and a couple of years I’m pretty we can have this up and running and enhance the patient’s life even further.”
No one in Dr Pacey-Lowrie’s life wants to follow in his profession, which is one reason he was happy to take Collins on as an apprentice. “Although I am 60 very soon, that’s hopefully not the end,” he remarked.
“There is a lot of skill there and a lot of knowledge, and it would be dreadful if I shuffle off the earth and keep it to myself. So I want to pass it along. That certainly is my main goal.”