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Blind Irishman regains vision with the aid of son's tooth in his eye

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 27, 2008 in Health
This is not Voodoo science. It is a clinically approved operation and is performed at the Sussex Eye Hospital in England. The blind man is able to see again with the help of his son’s tooth.
Bob McNichol, 57, lives in the County Mayo, west of Ireland. McNichol lost his sight a few years ago in a freak accident when red hot liquid aluminum exploded at the recycling business at which he was working. After the accident in Nov. 2005, he thought he would never be able to regain his vision.
Doctors in Ireland suggested an operation called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (OOKP) performed by Dr. Christopher Liu at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton in England.
This OOKP was pioneered in Italy in the 1960s. It involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient’s own tooth and the surrounding bone structure.
McNichol’s son Robert, 23, agreed to donate this tooth instead, including its root and part of his jaw. McNichol's right eye socket was rebuilt, part of the tooth inserted and a lens was inserted in a hole drilled in the tooth.
McNichol had two operations lasting 15 hours in total. He said he had a 65 per cent chance of getting his sight back and lucky for him, his vision was restored.
Now, he is able to move freely, watch TV and is happy to come out of the total darkness in which he was living since the accident.
In 2004, eye surgeons from the Singapore National Eye Centre did similar surgeries with a canine tooth and reported success in restoring vision for 12 patients.
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