Sarah’s story: “corneal donors helped me see again”
30 January 2020
Sarah was diagnosed with keratoconus as a child. Doctors at Moorfields helped her to overcome the condition by giving her two corneal transplants.
Sarah first came to Moorfields when she was 12 years old, soon after she was diagnosed with keratoconus. Her doctors gave her special contact lenses which, for a few years, restored her good sight.
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is an eye condition where the clear window of the eye (the cornea) progressively thins, causing a cone shaped bulge to develop and affecting vision. It can take months or even years for the condition to develop.
The cause of keratoconus is currently unknown.
1 in 2,000
Keratoconus affects up to 1 in 2,000 people
Keratoconus can be difficult to spot in its early stages, as the symptoms are not very noticeable.
Usually, optometrists are able to spot the condition during regular eye tests and will prescribe glasses or contact lenses so that changes to vision can be managed.
If the condition gets worse, it may be necessary to have harder contact lenses. In extreme cases, a corneal transplant may be required.
In recent years, a new treatment has been developed called corneal cross linking (CXL). This stops the condition getting worse in over 94 per cent of patients with a single 30-minute procedure.
The problem was that Sarah was completely dependent on her lenses to see properly.
And, when they began to stop working, she struggled with everyday activities.
Trying something new
Doctors at Moorfields were determined to find a better longterm solution for Sarah.
Over two years, she received corneal transplants in both eyes to restore her sight. The operations worked perfectly and Sarah was delighted by the results.
These surgeries have made an incredible improvement to my vision and I still notice new things every day that I couldn’t see or do before.
Saying thank you - Reading Half Marathon
After finishing her treatment, Sarah wanted to give back.
“To thank Moorfields for the excellent care and support I have received, I am running the Reading Half Marathon with my dad, Steve, and my brother, Andrew, to raise money for Moorfields Eye Charity,“ she explains.
Moorfields Eye Charity funds the pioneering work at the hospital, making a difference for people being treated worldwide.
“My treatment wouldn’t have been possible without the generous gifts from two organ donors. I am thankful to them everyday. As well as donating to Moorfields, please consider registering as an organ donor if you haven’t already.”
Through her efforts, Sarah managed to raise a phenomenal £1549 for Moorfields Eye Charity. Well done, Sarah - and thank you for your support!