Eye surgery saves grate­ful June’s sight


AWOMAN has re­gained her sight af­ter un­der­go­ing a state-of-the-art eye op­er­a­tion at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal.

June Birchenough, who lives in Tyther­ing­ton, is one of the first pa­tients at the hos­pi­tal to un­dergo a cornea trans­plant.

She had suf­fered from a con­di­tion known as Fuchs’ en­dothe­lial dys­tro­phy, which caused loss of clar­ity in her corneas.

She re­ceived treat­ment to one eye three years ago be­fore a corneal graft was car­ried out on her other eye this month by con­sul­tant opthamol­o­gist Say Aun Quah us­ing a do­nated cornea.

June, 64, said she is de­lighted with the trans­for­ma­tion.

She said: “It’s amaz­ing – I can see again now – and the whole ser­vice has been bril­liant.

“I’ve got ab­so­lutely no com­plaints and ev­ery­one has been won­der­ful – it’s nice be­ing able to have it done so lo­cally too.

“I do feel very grate­ful to who­ever has do­nated their corneas which al­lowed me to have the trans­plant.”

Dr John Hunter, the trust’s med­i­cal di­rec­tor and clin­i­cal lead for or­gan do­na­tion, said the cornea trans­plant is an ex­am­ple of the re­mark­able things doc­tors can do with do­na­tions of tis­sues such as skin, ten­dons and corneas af­ter death.

He said: “Most peo­ple are aware of or­gan do­na­tion and the life-sav­ing role it plays, but it’s per­haps less well-known that you can also do­nate your tis­sues af­ter death.

“These do­nated tis­sues can make a huge dif­fer­ence to the lives of many peo­ple, restor­ing mo­bil­ity, sight and in some cases sav­ing lives. With Trans­plant Week and the re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of cornea trans­plants at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal thanks to Mr Quah and his col­leagues in our oph­thal­mol­ogy depart­ment, we thought it a good time to high­light to peo­ple that you can choose to do­nate your corneas and other tis­sues via the Or­gan Donor Register.”

Reg­is­ter­ing to be a tis­sue donor is quick and easy.

To be a donor af­ter your death, you sim­ply need to join the Or­gan Donor Register and tell your clos­est fam­ily and friends about your wishes.

Al­most any­one can be con­sid­ered as a tis­sue donor and to en­sure that all do­nated tis­sues are safe, the donor’s med­i­cal and lifestyle history will be as­sessed at the time of do­na­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion about tis­sue do­na­tion, go to www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/tis­sue­do­na­tion.

●● June Birchenough, from Tyther­ing­ton, who is one of the first peo­ple to have a cornea trans­plant at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal

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