Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Patients Given Gift of Sight after Corneal Transplants in Martinsburg

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Patients Given Gift of Sight after Corneal Transplants in Martinsburg

Article excerpt

MARTINSBURG - Being able to see the world with new eyes has become a reality for three people thanks to recently receiving corneal transplants from a specialist in Berkeley County. Dr. Sunil Thadani, who is an ophthalmologist with fellowship cornea training, travels from Frederick to Martinsburg every Wednesday to offer medical and surgical care for eye conditions, including corneal transplants, at Martinsburg Eye Associates located at 2002 Professional Court. Thadani completed his cornea fellowship six years ago, and he has performed many corneal transplants in Berkeley County since 2013.

Carol Rich, 58, of Kearneysville, was told she might lose the vision in her left eye if she did not receive a corneal transplant, and her eye doctor referred her to Thadani.

"I was really stunned, especially to open my eyes and realize what's going on; I mean, you just can't explain the feeling, it's just amazing, Rich said after she successfully received a corneal transplant in October of last year. "I wish I could talk to the [donor] family because my heart really goes out to them. I just wish I could do more for them.

Rich had two diseases affecting her left eye at the same time - Fuchs' dystrophy, which causes swelling and clouding of the cornea, and Keratoconus, which causes the cornea to bulge and distort its shape.

"As her family, seeing her go through that experience of not knowing the outcome, preparing for the worst, that was really haunting at times, said Carol Rich's daughter Pamela, 32. "To see her go through it and feel so helpless, it really does affect everyone around her. It's really emotional.

Eugene Fry, 72, of Falling Waters, has had corneal transplants in both his eyes because of degeneration coming with age. He first had a transplant done for his right eye about 12 years ago, and he received a corneal transplant in his left eye by Thadani about two and a half years ago.

"Driving at night was getting to be an issue [before the surgery]. It was like looking through a cloudy shower door, Fry said of his vision prior to the surgery. "The quality of life has gotten a lot better.

Claude Roberts, 71, of Inwood, was also diagnosed with Fuchs' dystrophy, and he's dealt with astigmatism for years. …

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