Transforming lives: the story of Rabia who benefited from a corneal transplant

02 April 19

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Press Office

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Rabia, second from the right, with her six child

Rabia, 46, is a mother of six from Stratford upon Avon, and has a corneal eye condition called keratoconus. This has resulted in serious sight loss and has affected her ability to work and be independent. However, Rabia recently had a corneal transplant which has enabled her to wear corrective lenses and has restored some vision to one eye. Rabia also requires another transplant for her other eye, after which she expects to fully get her independence back.

Rabia said: “I’m incredibly grateful to the person who donated their eyes and I often think of them. I want to tell them from my heart how grateful I am for their gift. It has restored some of my sight and the second transplant will make all the difference for me, hopefully allowing me to drive and resume my publishing business.” 

Rabia’s sister also has keratoconus and now her daughter, 20, has been diagnosed, which is why Rabia is a community ambassador for Fight for Sight, and is helping to raise awareness of the need for corneal donation and more eye research funding. 

Who can benefit from a corneal transplants? 

Approximately 4,000 corneal transplants are undertaken each year [1]. There are a number of people who can benefit from a corneal transplant, including those who suffer from corneal dystrophies (such as keratoconus). Corneal dystrophies are a group of genetic, often progressive eye disorders, in which abnormal material often accumulates in the clear (transparent) outer layer of the eye (cornea). Others who might need a corneal transplant include those who have experienced severe bacterial infections, which can result in damage to the cornea. Trauma to the eye, including burns, can also warrant corneal transplants in some cases. 

Read about our research

 

[1]. https://nhsbtdbe.blob.core.windows.net/umbraco-assets-corp/4954/cornea_allocation_policy.pdf (at the time of writing: 2017)

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