22.05.2012

Pioneering surgery gives hope to the partially sighted

Pioneering surgery gives hope to the partially sighted

By Alexa Kaczka

A Scottish woman who bravely agreed to become the first person in the UK to undergo a pioneering type of eye procedure has said it will hopefully help to save the vision of many more people in future.

Sylvia Paton, from Edinburgh, was born without an iris in her left eye, which caused severe damage to her cornea and also resulted in the development of a cataract, which has left her with one-tenth of normal vision, the Daily Record reports.

However, she agreed to take part in a radical new procedure involving the transplantation of stem cells to help counteract her defective vision and said it will hopefully provide a beacon of light to people who suffer from the same problem – corneal blindness - including her 23-year-old son Michael.

She told the newspaper: "I've had the opportunity to restore some of the vision I have lost. This will hopefully allow me to have a better quality of life and extend my ability to work for ten years or even more."

The project has been backed by Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon, who met Ms Paton at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh this week and said it is "vital" that the country continues to invest in innovative projects to help people in need.

by Emily Tait


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