Monday, October 15, 2012

"I Spy, with My Cloudy Right Eye".....

....pretty much nothing. 

That's John I'm speaking of, and over the last 18 months, his right eye has clouded over and his vision is practically gone.  It's a good thing he has light blue eyes, as his current condition would make darker eyes look as though they are cataract-covered with a whitish lens.

The reason?  Eighteen years ago, his cornea was ruptured in three places.  It was the summer that he was running "Program" out at Camp Harlow, and while playing in the pool, a fluke accident happened underwater as a girl went for the water polo ball and ended up stabbing him in the eye.

If he had seen the right doctor directly after the accident, he would have had surgery to repair the injury.  However, the doctor he saw instead treated it with steroids and antibiotics.

Therefore, over the last 18 years, about once a year, his right eye would get very red, light sensitive, and painful for a couple of weeks at a time while his body went through the recurring "repair cycle" to that injured cornea.  Eventually, the pain would subside, his full vision would return, and all would be well until the next time. 

However, about a year and a half ago, the "repair cycle" never stopped.  His eye was constantly irritated and painful.  More doctor visits and steroids.  The pain and light sensitivity went away, but so did his vision.  Now he can basically just see blurry shapes out of that eye. 

Clearly, it was time to see someone who REALLY knew what to do about his eye, so about a month ago, John headed north to the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.  The verdict?  His cornea is now "dead".  There are no more cells to work and repair damage to the lens.  The good news, it can be repaired through a cornea transplant - and within a year, he should have full vision in that eye again.

This transplant surgery will take place tomorrow at noon.  It is only supposed to take an hour, and he is allowed to go home afterwards.  (Obviously, I'll drive!).  We'll then return to Portland on Wednesday morning for a post-op appointment.  He is supposed to avoid strenuous activity for 30 days, will wear an eye patch at night (to avoid inadvertantly messing with it), but that is pretty much it in terms of inconveniences post-surgery.  We're not sure what his vision will be like after leaving the surgery, but it can't get much worse than it is now.

John is so excited about this happening.  He'd virtually lost hope of ever seeing fully out of that eye again - and to consider being able to read or focus on something and REALLY see it, is truly something he is rejoicing about. 

So, I'd like to ask for your prayers for him tomorrow.  Pray that there won't be rejection issues (I don't think that's a common occurrence), any infection, or complications; for safe travel; a quick and comfortable recovery - and finally, for the family of the person who's cornea that he'll end up seeing with, what a gift to give to my husband.


sara said...

wow, I will definitely be praying. please keep us posted on FB. I am definitely an organ donor..what awesome gifts of life and health we could give to others should something tragic ever happen. I am rejoicing with you and John over his renewed sight!!!

Lydia said...

Steph - I knew I could find more information here! Praying for John and restored vision in his eye. I'm always amazed at what doctors can do. I hope that you have some quality time on your drive and that all goes smoothly tomorrow. Love you friend!