Israel: Breakthrough surgery restores blind woman’s vision

i24NEWS

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Hanane Awad speaks to i24NEWS at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel, on January 3, 2022.
i24NEWSHanane Awad speaks to i24NEWS at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel, on January 3, 2022.

Following the operation, Awad was able to see the face of her grandson for the first time

A revolutionary surgery in Israel granted sight to a 60-year-old blind woman from Nazareth, using material from the patient’s bone to form a new cornea.

Hanane Awad was not eligible to undergo the conventional treatment for her condition - a synthetic cornea transplant - which led physicians to come up with an innovative replacement for the patient.

“There (are)... no good solutions nowadays in the world except for artificial corneas,” Dr. Eitan Livni told i24NEWS, adding that in Awad’s particular case factors with the patient’s eyes stopped her from receiving the usual transplant.

A team of four doctors from Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva restored the woman’s vision by instead carving a new cornea for her using material taken from her shin bone throughout a 14 hour long procedure.

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“I’ve seen hundreds of doctors in several hospitals and all of them told me that they couldn’t help me,” Awad told i24NEWS.

“They told me it was over and I had to remain blind for my whole life. But here in Beilinson, I’ve been told that I could get surgery, and I found new hope.”

Following the operation, Awad was able to see the face of her grandson, who was born while she was blind, for the first time.

“I was so moved. Until now, all I could do was touch and hug him, and now I eventually saw him,” the woman said.

“At the end of the day, there will be light,” she said, “and at the end, I saw the light.”

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