50-year old Sylvia Paton from Corstorphine, UK was the first to undergo corneal stem cells transplant in the country which took place last February.
Mrs. Paton suffers from aniridia which is an eye problem wherein the person was born without an iris which later caused severe damage to the cornea. According to her, she is short-sighted, her left eye can’t see, and she also has cataract. She has to wear glasses when going outdoors to prevent further damage to her eye. Further, she doesn’t have night vision. Though her eye is not sore or painful, it is making her very uncomfortable.
She first found out about the trial three and a half years ago. She didn’t hesitate and decided to participate.
The process involved growing stem cells from a dead donor and then attaching them to a membrane. In return, it was transplanted to her left cornea. The operation took three hours to finish. Once her cornea is repaired, she will undergo a cataract operation within a year. They’re hoping that the stem cells transplant and cataract operation can improve her vision.
Despite her condition, Mrs. Paton works as a PA in the Scottish Government and has a family of her own. In fact, it was because of her son, Michael, who also inherited the same eye problem that inspired her to join the trial. She’s hoping that whatever will cure her will also cure her son.
Dr. Ashish Agrawal who performed the operation said that Mrs. Paton is recovering well ever since her operation in February.