Christmas came early for John. Yesterday, our family traveled back up to OHSU (after a quick stop off visit to see Cully =)), so that John could finally put in (and take home!) his new contact that, once in - puts his vision at 20-25. It's probable, that once his brain adjusts to the new stimulation it's able to take in, the vision could completely correct itself to 20-20. We don't even know how bad his vision was prior to this. For sure, within the last five years, that damaged eye, on its own, would have been classified "legally blind".
In case you are new to this storyline, here's some links to what has transpired over the last twenty years that make this visit's accomplishment so miraculous...
From all the way back to 2009 - a mention of the accident that caused it and his struggling with vision
A further description of why surgery was necessary
A review of the surgery he had in 2012 to replace his cornea
What took place when the stitches to that cornea transplant were removed last year
The third cornea transplant
So, now here we are - on the other end of this long, arduous journey. And because technology has come so far, a small contact, about the size of a dime - is what has changed everything. To simplify, (and quote from the most recent post addressing this):
What we found out after this appointment is that the shape of his "altered eye" is just a mess. It's flat instead of curve-shaped, and even more than that, the surface is ruddy - which is why when he sees it looks like he's viewing life through that eye out of stained glass. With this new ocular technology (only available in the last 5 years), they are able to put liquid behind the surface of the contact - press it to the eye...and Bingo -you now have a curved smooth surface in which to focus perfectly! AMAZING!!!!!
John was able to get the contact in and out within the office and when he came out yesterday afternoon, he was in awe. His brain was working on overdrive to process everything so new, so I drove home (well, to our second home at the Schillings) - and on the way, he voiced what he was seeing. The clouds and their vibrant colors, the lights on the Christmas trees at outdoor malls we passed, his vision when it was dark outside....it was so awesome. Basically, his "new eye" now sees with much more definition and enhancement than his "normal eye". In his words, "my left eye sees things very flat in color and objects, where my right eye sees everything in high-def, technicolor, stunning contrast". He still has to adjust enough brain-wise to get to a point he's able to read efficiently, but they suspect by his next appointment on the 19th, he'll have either adjusted enough or they can correct with reading glasses. (We are at that age, afterall!). But, his distance and night vision - OUTSTANDING.
I am so happy for him - and for all of us, that have traveled this journey. What a happy ending - and there's no "upcoming surgeries" that would give us any reason to believe it would change - but, instead, just get better on its own with time. Certainly a miracle we are so thankful God provided early for us this Christmas season!!!