Posted by: lucylastic | February 29, 2008

Seeing is believing…….

I am always intrigued by the bizarre and unusual and my attention was caught by the headline ‘Blind Irishman sees with the aid of son’s tooth in his eye’.  In a procedure apparently pioneered in Italy in the 1960’s, (have you ever heard of it) sight can be restored by the insertion of a tooth and a false lens.  According to the AFP web feed, ‘An Irishman blinded by an explosion two years ago has had his sight restored after doctors inserted his son’s tooth in his eye.   

Bob McNichol, 57, from County Mayo in the west of the country, lost his sight in a freak accident when red-hot liquid aluminium exploded at a re-cycling business in November 2005.  “I thought that I was going to be blind for the rest of my life,” McNichol told RTE state radio.  After doctors in Ireland said there was nothing more they could do, McNichol heard about a miracle operation called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (OOKP) being performed by Dr Christopher Liu at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton in England.  The technique, pioneered in Italy in the 1960s, involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient’s own tooth and the surrounding bone.  The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23, donating a tooth, its root and part of the jaw.  McNichol’s right eye socket was rebuilt, part of the tooth inserted and a lens inserted in a hole drilled in the tooth. The first operation lasted ten hours and the second five hours.  “It is pretty heavy going,” McNichol said. “There was a 65 percent chance of me getting any sight.  “Now I have enough sight for me to get around and I can watch television. I have come out from complete darkness to be able to do simple things,”  I certainly applaud Mr McNicol’s son, Robert, for agreeing to donate not only a tooth, but also it’s root and part of his jaw – a few years ago, I underwent 3 failed attempts at a tooth implant – which also involved jaw and root ‘invasion’ and it was the most excruciating this I have ever been through – much worse than childbirth!  I have blogged about my teeth before, (ever the exciting topic finder, me) so won’t go through it all again – but I will say, as a caution to those who may sometimes be unsteady on their feet – I blame the pickled herring, not the vodka.   Of course, losing any of one’s senses would be awful – but to be blinded in an accident must be particularly dreadful, I wear contact lenses now and value my sight immensely.  I sound like a right old croc actually – dodgy teeth, worse eyes.  I shan’t even attempt to list any of my other ailments to you.  Happy Weekend.



  1. Maybe this explains the saying “I’d give my eye teeth for xxxx” ?

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