Keratoconus, graft rejection – my story by Wendy


I had never expected to be writing this at any point of my long KC journey but I am so here goes.

It’s the 2nd April 2013, just short of the 5 month post-op point and up until now everything is going extremely well apart from very minor thing’s like dry-eye. My dry-eye has been a lot worse at the weekend and as usual had been moaning about it being really bad to anyone who would listen. Today is very different I was up early as usual as I couldn’t sleep and my eye wasn’t just running like before it was pouring down my face, it was extremely red like it had been at the point just after surgery. Then came shortly after what I can only describe at the most horrific pain I have ever felt in my life.
By this point I know deep down something is very wrong so I call the emergency eye clinic at the hospital and explain everything, I’m told to come in. I arrive at the hospital fully expecting a long wait as it’s an emergency clinic but to my surprise I’m taken straight away by the on-call Dr. My eye was examined very thoroughly and she said she had to pop next door to check something with my Dr. Next thing I know he has come through to see me and he also has a look. I could see the look on his face and I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. He then said the words that the graft was showing early signs of rejection.
You start thinking you must have done something wrong but the truth is your immune system for whatever reason has suddenly decided it wants rid of this foreign body. He did re-assure me that the fact we are treating this immediately would mean that it would be fine.
I think the minute most people here the word “rejection” its almost over already when in fact this couldn’t be further from the truth. Signs of a graft rejection are not the same as a full blown rejection as this actually rarely results in this if you have been given the right treatment. At this point I had an injection in the eye, not the most pleasant experience but I didn’t care much at this point. I also was given yet more drops and oral steroids to take over a two week period. I went back a week later to be check and the graft seemed to be responding well so I was more than happy in myself that it would be alright.
Another week passes and I’m back again to see my Dr and I get the news I was hoping for that the graft was totally fine and was super clear and to be told this today was brilliant as it falls on the 5 month post-op date. I know they say everything happens for a reason and some things in life do test us. It certainly does put other things into perspective and somebody else is always worse off than you.

#Gift of Sight

My eye tattoo

Ending on a brighter note I had decided I wanted to remember my donor in some way and not to forget to be thankful as without people donating organs we wouldn’t be getting the 2nd chance of better vision. I had this tattoo done showing the sutures and the operation date below. I’m glad I got it done but it wasn’t the nicest thing I have ever experienced, anyone who says they are not painful to have done is fibbing.

Sign up today to be an organ donor in the UK


8 thoughts on “Keratoconus, graft rejection – my story by Wendy

  1. Wow! I’m sorry to read you had to go through this! I’m only 6 weeks post surgery, and I’m hoping that I don’t have to go through this. Hope all is well in the rest of your recovery.

    • I had a rejection too the same as Wendy, after several years, again it was all sorted and the transplant was saved with drugs and drops, it is all fine now, Rae

    • Hi Mel I’m sure you will be absolutely fine. If you know the signs to look for & always get anything checked straight away you won’t have any problems. If you are ever in any doubt get it checked out – that’s the best rule to apply. 🙂

  2. Hi Wendy,
    So glad all is OK! I dreading what I would read there. Love the tattoo–I think it’s very nice that you wanted to honor your donor.
    Glad you guys found Mel–I kept telling her to come over here and talk to you guys. Job done as I have no graft experience–just the CXL post-op horror stories.
    Continued success!
    A 🙂

    • Thanks Alica

      Yeah everything is fine now. Thanks the tattoo is taking a bit of getting used to LOL but so glad I had it done. I wasn’t saying that whilst it was happening, just a bit sore I dread to think how painful it could be if it was done on a less fleshy part of the body.

      Hope you are well.

      Wendy 🙂

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