A man from Northampton whose incurable eye disease meant he could not see anything more than three feet away has been fitted with a special contact lens that will allow him to witness the birth of his daughter.
Kevin Marshall, aged 30, from East Hunsbury, has fought a 10-year battle with Keratoconus – a degenerative eye disorder that distorted his vision to such an extent he could no longer drive or see more than three feet.
Having been told by several eyecare professionals there was nothing they could do for him, Mr Marshall was eventually referred to Brian Tompkins, owner of Tompkins, Knight & Son Optometrists in Kingsley Road, Northampton.
Within minutes, a state-of-the-art scleral lens, which creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea, had been fitted and Mr Marshall’s sight had been restored.
He said: “It felt like a miracle. I had got to the point where I genuinely thought I wouldn’t be able to see again.
“I had to give up work, I couldn’t go out and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see my baby, but literally within minutes of meeting Brian it had all been resolved.
“The word ‘life-changing’ doesn’t even come close.
“I can now do all the little things people take for granted but which I wasn’t previously able to do. I can watch the TV at night, I can go swimming and I can play with my little girl, Lalie, which means the world to me.”
Mr Marshall’s condition meant his corneas were conical rather than spherical, distorting his vision.
He underwent a full corneal graft on his left eye but the surgery meant that normal lenses would irritate the scar tissue, making the problem worse.
Mr Tompkins said: “It was a tricky one as we had to find a lens which doesn’t sit directly on the eye. The left eye had graft scars and the right eye still has Keratoconus.”
The scleral lens was fitted to both eyes, creating a vault over both corneas.
This removed any chance of irritation of either the graft scars or the sensitive thin conical cornea.
Kevin, has now secured a new job as a recruitment manager, said: “I feel as though I have been given a second chance in life.”