SEEING THE SIGHTS THANKS TO A LIFE CHANGING CORNEAL GRAFT

KCGB member Liam Green from Wilmslow UK, is now enjoying seeing some of the world’s most famous sights thanks to his recent corneal transplant in his left eye for keratoconus.

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LIFE CHANGING

Liam, who also raps and makes vlogs, had worked for 10 years as a cleaner before the transplant.

Since the surgery he has been backpacking around Thailand, and travelled to New York (above), which he hopers to visit again. He also started a new job working with epileptic adults in the community.

Thanks to the transplant I was able to travel the world, and I love my new job,” said Liam.

I can’t thank my donor and their family enough. They are legends. Forget footballers and rock stars. The donor is my hero. The gift of sight has been life-changing.” Liam told his local newspaper.

VISION ISSUES

As a teenager Liam noticed something was wrong when he could see shadows on the edge of his vision when he looked into the garden from his home.

He knew he needed an eye test, but did not worry too much until he went for a driving lesson aged 17, and found that he could not read the car number plates at the required legal distance.

Further more complex tests revealed he had keratoconus, a degenerative eye condition that causes the cornea to thin, and the eye to bulge. Liam said his eye bulge became so noticeable that he would show it off as a party trick, and was known as ‘bullet eye’.

He had to wear RGP rigid contact lenses and glasses as his vision became worse.

He said: “Looking through my left eye was like looking at a painting that had been left in the rain.”

He relied on the sight on his right eye but faced everyday problems such as missing areas to clean at work, bumping into obstacles while out of the house, and feeling restricted about what he could do or where he could go.

After the transplant, his eyes were initially so sensitive he had to wear two pairs of sunglasses.

He said: “It was two or three weeks before I was properly getting on with life, and the transplant has completely changed my life for the better.

“It’s like I was given a second chance. I can see beautiful things like my nephew and niece, I could start a new job, and just start living a new life. I can’t thank my donor enough. I am so grateful.

Liam in Thailand, below:

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GIVE THE GIFT OF SIGHT

Liam is backing a call by NHS Blood and Transplant for more people to donate their corneas. The organisation’s eye banks are 21 per cent below the level needed to supply hospitals.

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on more people to agree to donate their sight to meet the growing demand for corneas in the ageing population.

70 donations a week are needed to meet the demand for sight saving transplants but there is a regular shortfall in donations, as people are often squeamish about donating their eyes.

Almost anyone can donate their eyes for cornea transplants when they die, including people with some cancers, and they are used in many scenarios.

Helen Gillan, general manager for Tissue and Eye Services at NHSBT, said: “Eye banks are well below the level we’d like to see. You can help us by saying yes to cornea donation. Almost anyone can donate their sight. Please support sight donation and help patients see what they can currently only imagine.”

For more details visit organdonation.nhs.uk

To see Liam’s vlogs visit Youtube.com/phatstuffvlogs

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