Able2UK Heroes

Pensioner becomes first Brit to be fitted with artificial cornea

Cecil Farley sitting in front of an eye chart

A pensioner has been given a new leash of life after they became the first person in the UK to be fitted with an artificial cornea.

Cecil ‘John’ Farley has experienced vision loss which has deteriorated over the past 15 years, but thanks to a pioneering procedure his sight has improved dramatically.

The 91-year-old became the first Brit to be equipped with an EndArt, an artificial device which could ease pressure on the NHS and cut the risk of corneas being rejected from an organ donor.

Just in case you aren’t clued up on your biology homework, the cornea is the clear outer part of the eyeball.

Mr Farley, from Chobham in Surrey, said the pioneering treatment means he can keep on seeing the face of his 83-year-old wife Elizabeth.

He told Sky News: "I can still see my wife after 63 years of marriage, we can just carry on as normal and live life as fully as we can.

"It makes your life fuller when your eyes work properly - you don't realise how debilitating it is until it happens to you."

Ahead of his treatment Farley could not see anything out of his right eye, but since the procedure in February his eyesight is gradually coming back.

He said: "It has made a great difference to my sight. It was very blurred and I couldn't distinguish a face.

"Now I can see better with it, the brighter the light the better. It's coming along slowly - they said it could take up to a year."

The EndArt replaces the inner section of the cornea by a single stitch and is put in place with a gas bubble.

Farley is only one of 200 people across the globe who has been fitted with the device, but it is hoped that many more will be offered the artificial cornea over time.

[ The EndArt has been compared to contact lenses. ]

Related Articles

Help support us continuing our groundbreaking work. Make a donation to help with our running costs, and support us with continuing to bring you all the latest news, reviews and accessibility reports. Become a supporter or sponsor of Able2UK today!

Able2UK Logo