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Ramsbottom man's new lease of life thanks to eye jabs
A VISUALLY-IMPAIRED grandfather-of-two who was in danger of losing his sight completely has been given a ‘second lease of life’ thanks to pioneering treatment.
Clive Stafford, 56, of Ramsbottom is one of the first people in the region to undergo a series of eyeball injections after being diagnosed with a diabetes-related degenerative sight loss condition several years ago.
Mr Stafford, a travelling computer sales advisor, was forced to leave work in February last year after the disease – diabetic macular oedema (VI-DMO) – worsened and laser surgery treatment failed to resolve it.
But days later, the now-defunct Bury Primary Care Trust offered him the course of injections, despite it not then being approved by NICE – the British medicine licensing body – after his ophthalmic surgeon said he would lose his sight without it.
After around 14 injections to reduce and control swelling and liquid in both eyes, he said he could carry on with life as normal.
Mr Stafford, who doctors hope will eventually be able to stop having the injections said: “I found laser treatment unpleasant and then my central vision went so I couldn’t see faces, read and found driving difficult.
“I thought I was going blind.
“My sight will never be back to how it was but my right eye is now very good and the swelling has gone down.
“On the left eye it can only improve things to a certain extent because the central point of the retina has already been destroyed.”
He added: “It’s given me a second lease of life and I feel like I need to utilise and enjoy the time I have even more now.”
His ophthalmic surgeon Dr Simon Kelly said: “Whilst hardly any drugs can be classed as ‘cures’ it looks like it is certainly controlling his long-term condition and, due to his improvement, we have been reducing the amount of injections he needs.
“I was confident that it would work and hope that more patients with the condition will be able to benefit since it was approved by NICE in February.”
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