Two patients suffering from severe visual impairment can now breathe a sigh of relief thanks to corneal transplants performed by a specialised team led by Dr Bharati Sharma, consultant ophthalmologist.
Both patients, a 30 year-old Mauritian and a 54 year-old Seychelles national are the first Apollo Bramwell Hospital patients to have undergone a corneal transplant, a procedure now possible thanks to a partnership with US-based Eye Bank, Tissue Bank International, (TBI). The two patients were afflicted by diseases that caused their cornea – the clear layer in front of the eye – to become opaque.
This affected their vision by scattering or distorting light and causing glare and blurred vision, which could have led to blindness. “The operation performed on the two patients is called a penetrating keratoplasty, done under anaesthesia. The surgeon removes a circular segment of the patient’s cornea and replaces it with a similar sized portion from the donated corne which were flown in from the US,” Dr. Sharma explained.
In many regions of the world, corneal blindness is a health problem of epidemic proportions. According to the World Health Organization, nearly ten million people around the world live every day in darkness, suffering from corneal blindness. Millions more struggle with visual impairment due to corneal opacities that could have been avoided with timely treatment. “These corneas undergo rigorous evaluation to ensure that they are safe for transplant.. Once cleared, tissue may undergo several further steps of preparation before being sent to the surgeon.
TBI is especially reputed for its strict standards of selection and preservation of donor tissue. The selected tissue must also be compatible with the patient’s age,” said David Gray, Deputy Chairman of Apollo Bramwell. Mrs. Chloe L’Estrange, from Seychelles, had been suffering from pain and loss of vision for almost a year. “Before the operation, my vision was very poor and it was affecting my daily life. My vision is much better now. I am very happy that I came here for treatment and I am so grateful to my doctor and her team for everything they have done for me. I have got my life back,” said Mrs. L’Estrange. Equally relieved was Kevin Goury, a 30 year-old Financial Controller. “I’ve been suffering from impaired vision since the age of 17 and it was getting worse. The surgery went well... I can now see. This is a big change in my personal and professional life,” he said.
Juste quelque mots pour vous remercie de votre acceuille chaleureuse, toujours competent avec les patients, surtout les infirmieres pediatriques, pour Sooreeta, Dr Kevin Teerovengadum, Dr Joomye, Mr Joe, Infirmiere Dorothe, ange gardienne Reshma et la chirurgienne Dr Reshma. Moi je suis fidele a l'hopital Apollo depuis 2009 par l'acceuil et leur sympathie. Je remercie tous les services. Meme ma fille, T., la patiente, elle veut pas quitte l'hopital.