I Have Full Eyesight Which I Haven't Had For Years

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Alex Newman had a corneal condition called keratoconus and he needed to have a corneal transplant to restore his vision.

Straight after the operation, he says:

‘I could actually see better out of that eye than I had before the operation. I don't have any problems with this eye. Any problems I do have are extremely minimal, it's a million times better than what I had before now.’

Two years later, Newman is back at Auckland Hospital with and corneal transplant hoping to restore the site in his other eye too.

Eye surgeon David Pendergrast:

‘The job of the cornea essentially is to focus the light as it enters the front of the eye and from there, the light moves back through the pupil of the eye through the lens of the eye and eventually, it reaches the retina.

The cause of Newman’s condition is keratoconus a disease in which the cornea of the eye becomes progressively scarred and distorted. It's actually the leading reason for doing corneal transplants in New Zealand.

It usually strikes people during their teenage years or when they're young people with young families or they're active in the workforce. Contact lenses may help in the early stages of the disease, but the only long-term solution is surgery.

In a corneal transplant, the centre of the damaged cornea is removed and replaced with a healthy cornea from an organ donor. The donor cornea to be used for Newman's transplant operation will come from the New Zealand National Eye Bank.’

Two weeks after Newman’s operation, he's back at work:

‘There's a bit of pain while the swelling came down and it recovered. I could see something out of it virtually straight away, but it took about a week for things to clear up a little. It means in a year's time when the stitches come out, I'll be able to use both eyes and I'll have full eyesight which I haven't had for years. It is brilliant.’

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