Aaron James, a 46-year-old electrician and National Guard veteran from Arkansas, has become the first person to have a complete human eye implanted — complete with optic nerve, eye socket and eyelids — as surgeons from the New York Center announced. As part of a partial face transplant. Stem cells taken from the same donor’s bone marrow were also implanted to regenerate the nerve.
James was electrocuted and lost his left eye, arm and most of his face. The donor, a 30-year-old, had organs, including lungs, transplanted into three other patients.
Despite fears that the new eye would be rejected by the body or dry up due to insufficient blood supply, four months after the 21-hour operation, the new eye was accepted, in good shape and healthy. Although tests showed the patient’s brain was responding to light through his left pupil, James was unable to see it or move his eyelids. Ophthalmologist Dr Vaidehi Tetania, who performed the surgery, doubts that vision will ever fully recover. However, he assessed that while this was not the main purpose of transplantation, it was possible.
“One must always come first”
– I feel fine. And yet I have no movement in it. I still can’t blink. But I am feeling it now,” the patient told Andhra Agency in an interview. He said he didn’t hesitate before opting for surgery because “there’s always one to be first.”
Although corneal transplantation is common in medicine as a way to restore vision for certain conditions, replacing the entire eye has never been attempted before. Jeffrey Goldberg, head of ophthalmology at Stanford University, told the AP that the transplant was a “fantastic confirmation” of animal experiments so far and hoped it would spur further research aimed at transplants. Restore the patient’s vision.
“We’re very close to doing that,” he said.
. “Hardcore internet junkie. Award-winning bacon ninja. Social media trailblazer. Subtly charming pop culture advocate. Falls down a lot.”