Ian’s Story

Restoring Ian’s Sight

Ian leaned into the wall mirror, put his face against it, stuck out his tongue and stared. “Wow, look at that,” he said in awe.

His mother cried.

Though he was four and a half years old, he acted as if he were seeing himself for the first time. And he may have been, having just undergone the first of two surgeries on his eyes to repair dislocated lenses that caused him to see only a blurry sliver of what others could see.

Ian was two when his mother Eva noticed that her son’s eyes jiggled. If she asked him to pick up a toy on the floor, he would bend down and grasp at nothing. If she pointed at a cow or horse on a nearby farm, he reacted in frustration: “Where, Mommy? I don’t see it!”

Like his mother, Ian has Marfan syndrome. The rare genetic disorder is associated with weak connective tissue, including that of the eye. The connective tissue in Ian’s eye was so weak that his lens became dislocated. At 2 years old, Ian began wearing glasses with thick lenses.

As Ian grew, the dislocation was expected to worsen and eventually result in aphakia — the absence of the lens of eye.

But when his family learned about another option, they agreed to be part of a study at Nationwide Children’s to restore the vision of children with Marfan syndrome and other disorders resulting in aphakia. Doctors at Nationwide Children’s implanted the new lenses into Ian’s eyes, allowing him to have a much more normal visual function.

Since having had a new lens implanted in each eye, Ian is more curious and delights in discovering what he could not see before. He loves video games that used to frustrate him. And when he’s sitting at the top of a water park slide, now he can see his parents below as he yells: “Look at me!”

https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ian-2-Cropped-e1509993960621.jpg
  • Name: Ian .Ian
  • Condition(s): Cancer
  • Age at Treatment: 2

Restoring Ian’s Sight

Ian leaned into the wall mirror, put his face against it, stuck out his tongue and stared. “Wow, look at that,” he said in awe.

His mother cried.

Though he was four and a half years old, he acted as if he were seeing himself for the first time. And he may have been, having just undergone the first of two surgeries on his eyes to repair dislocated lenses that caused him to see only a blurry sliver of what others could see.

Ian was two when his mother Eva noticed that her son’s eyes jiggled. If she asked him to pick up a toy on the floor, he would bend down and grasp at nothing. If she pointed at a cow or horse on a nearby farm, he reacted in frustration: “Where, Mommy? I don’t see it!”

Like his mother, Ian has Marfan syndrome. The rare genetic disorder is associated with weak connective tissue, including that of the eye. The connective tissue in Ian’s eye was so weak that his lens became dislocated. At 2 years old, Ian began wearing glasses with thick lenses.

As Ian grew, the dislocation was expected to worsen and eventually result in aphakia — the absence of the lens of eye.

But when his family learned about another option, they agreed to be part of a study at Nationwide Children’s to restore the vision of children with Marfan syndrome and other disorders resulting in aphakia. Doctors at Nationwide Children’s implanted the new lenses into Ian’s eyes, allowing him to have a much more normal visual function.

Since having had a new lens implanted in each eye, Ian is more curious and delights in discovering what he could not see before. He loves video games that used to frustrate him. And when he’s sitting at the top of a water park slide, now he can see his parents below as he yells: “Look at me!”

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