Heidi's story

6. May 2016
Heidi Palojärvi may seem like an average Finnish citizen – just a young woman living a normal life and doing a normal job, who probably also has normal hobbies like running or reading books or watching movies. You’d never guess that besides all those “normal things” she is also a little wild at heart and when other people go to eat pancakes at a caffe on a Sunday afternoon, she jumps out of plane instead. And as if parachute jumping isn’t extreme enough, the real punch-line is this: she’s a parachute jumper suffering from severe acrophobia.

Seems impossible but parachute jumping has actually helped her overcome her phobia. While the idea of jumping out of a working plane brings goosebumps to other people she says she needs it as much as she needs air. Heidi explains why she does it: “Stepping out of the plane is always hard, I mean, it gets easier over time, but it’s always a bit challenging – that one step towards the unknown. But once you’re out there, flying at 13 000 feet (4000 metres) from the ground, you’re all alone – no worries, no stress, and most importantly – no fear. Just you and the feeling of complete freedom. It’s empowering”. 

Naturally, parachute jumping has it’s risks, but they can be minimized when a jumper knows what to do and where to land. Which is hard to do, when you can’t really see where you’re going. Heidi had to use glasses for skydiving because contact lenses were not an option, like she says – “You can jump out of the plane with them but you’ll probably land on the ground without them”. Since glasses under a helmet weren’t the most comfortable option either, she started looking for alternatives, until a good friend of hers told her about KSA Vision Clinic and laser surgery. She says she searched the web for ohter clinics as well but since her friend had had such a great experience at KSA, she thought she would give it a try.

“I had both my eyes examined and the procedure during the same day at KSA Vision Clinic in Tallinn ” says Heidi. She rememberes being anxious about the procedure but calmed down immediately after arriving at KSA, because the staff was very nice and helpful. “The procedure lasted for a very short period of time and although I did have to slow down and relax for a week, it was all worth it. Because after dr Ants Haavel removed my protective contact lenses I was able to jump out of planes again ... only this time I didn’t have to wear glasses!” says Heidi and she couldn’t sound happier.

“KSA was definitely the right choice for me and the fact that they paid for my ferry tickets and offered me a night at a hotel shows the level of service they offer. I cannot thank them enough!” As much as it pleases us to hear that – and we have to admit, Heidi is not the first to say that having her vision fixed at KSA has been one of the best choices she’s ever made, or that she would recommend the service to her friends – we are just glad that we were able to give her the confidence she needed for doing something that she loves. So thank you, too, for visiting us and happy jumping, Heidi!