The following is from a story that appeared in the Las Vegas Sun.
It’s shaping up to be a happy holiday season for a local family, whose little girl was losing her vision until a few days ago — when she underwent a rare corneal transplant. Eye on Healthspoke with the surgeon who performed the delicate procedure.
For Las Vegas resident, Laurie Alderman — Christmas came early. “It’s very scary. I cried quite a few times,” she said.
Until a recent procedure, her 5-year-old daughter, Sydney, had gone legally blind in one eye. Now, thanks to tissue from a deceased donor, Sydney’s vision stands a good chance of being fully restored.
“But it was so fortunate to have the donor out there,” said Laurie. “I was told it was a 13-year-old girl. And it made me very sad, but happy at the same time that her parents made the decision to donate her organs.”
Sydney’s problems began a couple of years ago with a case of pink eye that got out of control. The infection left scar tissue that clouded her vision and left her in need of a corneal transplant.
Laurie thought she would have to take her daughter to San Diego for the procedure. But then she met Las Vegas ophthalmologist, Jack Abrams.
“Corneal transplant is not a very common procedure, especially in children,” said Dr. Abrams.
Dr. Abrams has experience with corneal transplants for children and was able to perform the operation. He removes scar tissue from the surface of the eye and replaces it with the donor cornea, which is secured with sutures.
Sydney’s surgery went well. “It’s just a matter of time. I think within a few weeks or a few months, she should see much better,” said Dr. Abrams.
Dr. Abrams says that a corneal transplant on a child has not been performed locally since 2003. To learn more about the procedure.