The Guardian in England has an amazing story about a partially blind man regaining his vision.
Russell Turnbull, 38, suffered massive damage to his right eye when he was caught in a scuffle after a night out in Newcastle in 1994. On the bus home, Turnbull had tried to intervene in a fight between two men but was injured when one of them began squirting passengers with ammonia.
The chemical severely scarred Turnbull’s cornea, the clear membrane that covers the front of the eye, and destroyed stem cells that usually help keep the cornea healthy.
In an experimental treatment devised by doctors at the North East England Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle, stem cells were taken from Turnbull’s healthy eye and grown on a layer of amniotic tissue, which is routinely used as a burn dressing.
The NHS banks amniotic sacs donated by women who have had a Caesarean section.
When the cells had covered the membrane, a piece the size of a postage stamp was transplanted onto Turnbull’s damaged eye. Two months later the membrane had broken down, leaving his damaged eye with a fresh supply of healthy stem cells, which repaired the cornea.
Here are some of my past posts about stem cells: