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CEI team implants iris to restore vision

CEI team implants iris to restore vision (CEI)

WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO

A young college student who recently lost his eyesight in an accident said a big thank you Thursday night, October 13.

Local doctors were able to rebuild some of his eye. The team at Cincinnati Eye Institute is one of just a few in the world trained to restore sight from serious eye damage.

It was a paintball accident while playing with a friend that first led to Frank Lockehart's eye injury, “He pointed the gun to sort of mess with me a little bit, and there was one more paintball left. So it hit me square in the eye from maybe three, four feet away.”

That left Frank eventually with little vision in that eye.

He described it, “The best way I can describe it is one of those foggy shower doors.”

And no iris or colored part of eye.

Dr. Michael Snyder, an eye surgeon, said, “Light sensitivity is a big problem when people have iris damage like this.”

As a time lapse showed, Local 12 News went inside the procedure room with Dr. Snyder. He was able to rebuild from some of the damage and put in an iris implant made to look like Franks other eye. Since that procedure his medical team closely followed any chances for infection, any progress that he was making, and more importantly, what will and won't happen for the future.

Not only did the appearance of Frank’s eyes match with his new iris, it improved.

He said, “They've gotten me down to 20/35, which is, I think, the best they've refracted me down.”

In fact, his vision improved so much Dr. Snyder said it was close to matching his other, healthy eye.

“So he can use the two together and that gives him depth perception that is essentially normal,” said Dr. Snyder.

His cloudy vision was almost completely clear and the light sensitivity was almost gone.

Frank had a little more healing but with glasses they expect the nearly perfect vision to last. He is a medical student giving serious consideration to the field of ophthalmology.

Cincinnati Eye Institute also helps patients who cannot afford treatment. CLICK HERE for details for the fundraiser dinner November 10, 2016.

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