Acid attack victim may regain sight after stem cell operation 24 years after being blinded by thugs

19 June 2018
Source: Evening Standard/Moorfields Eye Hospital

The victim of an agonising corrosive attack has been given hope his sight can be restored after 24 years, thanks to a stem cell procedure at a pioneering London hospital.

James O’Brien was 18 when he had ammonia sprayed in his face, blinding him in the right eye. Doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital have learned how to take stem cells from his healthy eye and transplant them into his damaged one, hopefully allowing it to regenerate.

Further coverage is on the Evening Standard’s website today:

The battle to restore Mr O’Brien’s sight will be detailed in a TV documentary for BBC London’s Inside Out, celebrating the work of Moorfields.

Moorfields Eye Hospital will be featured in a BBC documentary entitled ‘How the NHS changed our world’. This 30 minute documentary is one of a series featuring a select few specialist hospitals across the country in connection with NHS70. Filming took place last month.

This will air on BBC1 London this Wednesday 20 June at 7pm and again on BBC2 on Wednesday 27 June at 7pm.

The documentary will feature Dr Oscar Duke, a Moorfields patient since the age of three, on a personal journey to look at how the hospital has transformed eye care and saved the sight of millions of patients since the start of the NHS. This includes interviews with patients and staff around a number of developments in eye care, including Pearse Keane on artificial intelligence, Mark Wilkins on cataract surgery, James Bainbridge and Mariya Moosajee on gene therapy and Sajjad Ahmad on stem cell treatment for an acid attack patient.

In addition, the BBC will be interviewing Saj and James about the treatment on BBC breakfast on Wednesday 18/06/18 in the morning – currently scheduled to air at 7.45am.

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