South Yorkshire, Jul 4 2009– A blind British man has seen his wife for the first time after an incredible operation transplanted one of his teeth into his right eye.
Builder Martin Jones, 42, was left blind more than a decade ago after a tub of boiling aluminium exploded in his face in South Yorkshire, north England.
But now a remarkable surgery performed less than 50 times in Britain has restored vision in his right eye after a long period in the dark.
The operation allowed Mr Jones to look upon his wife Gill — who he married four years ago — for the first time.
“The doctors took the bandages off and it was like looking through water and then I saw this figure and it was her,” he told the Daily Mail.
“She’s wonderful and lovely … it was unbelievable to see her for the first time.
“When I found out there was a chance I would get my sight back, the first person I wanted to see was her.”
The eight-hour surgery, pioneered by Britain-based doctor Christopher Liu, took part of one of Mr Jones’s canine teeth and reshaped it to house a specially-built lens.
A living tooth was used because the body would most likely reject a plastic or artificial equivalent, Dr Liu said.
Some skin was then taken from part of Mr Jones’s cheek and placed in the eye, where it gained its own blood supply over a period of about two months.
The skin was later lifted and placed over the tooth and a hole cut in the grafted cornea to let light through, allowing Mr Jones to see.
Doctors say the surgery is designed for people with corneal blindness who do not quality for other corneal transplants.
Mr Jones cannot have the operation performed in his left eye because it was so badly damaged in the accident it had to be removed.
Source: Nine News (Australia)