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Repko Family Vision offers eye-opening experience

Amanda J. Vicars • Sep 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

In a world where people don’t always see eye to eye, it's good to know there are still those small-town businesses where strangers are treated like family.The Repko Family Vision Center, located in Gate City, Va., is one such a place. The husband-and-wife run practice exemplifies their motto, "Our Family Taking Care of Your Family," on a daily basis.With four children at home, ages 1 to 9, the doctor duo designed the layout of the office to include a family room in the back so as not to miss the most important moments of their children's lives, such as their youngest child Silas' first steps."The business requires a lot of time,"said Dr. Taylor Repko, O.D.,"but, at the same time, you can’t sacrifice the family either."Neither of the Drs. Repko expected to become eye specialists in their youth. This wasn't what I wanted to be when I was five, said Dr. Melissa Repko, O.D. Originally an ecology major, she later realized as her husband would that optometry offered the flexibility she desired for her future family. And also, she said enthusiastically, "I think eyeballs are fascinating."These days though, outside of family, eyes are the husband-and-wife team's main concern. Their goal is to raise awareness for eye health. In addition to prescribing glasses and contacts, both also focus on the prevention, detection and management of many ocular diseases - from glaucoma to dry eye."We do everything but surgery," Melissa Repko explained.The two met at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., where they both obtained their Doctor of Optometry in 2003."We met in our first year, got married in our second year and had a child in our fourth year," Taylor Repko explained. "It was a full plate."Though their lives are hectic between balancing a new business and spending time with their family, the faith-driven Repkos are no strangers to obstacle."Our lives can be kind of crazy sometimes," Melissa Repko said.In September 2011, soon after the couple decided to start their own practice and four months before its grand opening, then 38-week pregnant Melissa Repko took a trip to the grocery store. Her husband was home cutting a large tree, which had fallen onto their property, while two of their children played in the backyard. Suddenly, a 10-foot, 1,200-pound section of tree began to roll. Seeing his children were in its path, Taylor Repko stepped in front of the log to stop it. Barely escaping with his life, his right leg was shattered. A week later when their fourth child was born, "Taylor went up [to delivery] in a wheelchair," Melissa Repko said, "and I was the one walking."With the Repkos, family always comes first. It was, after all, the mountains and the family-friendly atmosphere which drew Taylor and Melissa Repko to the Southwest Virginia area.Their hope is to "focus solely on the practice here," said Taylor Repko and be, as his wife adds, "the small town family practice people know about."For more information, visit their website at http://www.repkofamilyvision.com/.Repko Family Vision Center is located off of Hwy. 23/421 in the Food Lion Shopping Center. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday. Call 276-690-2345 for an appointment.


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