Valley man’s eyesight potentially restored with rare stem cell transplant – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-06-23 20:14:54 –

Fresno, CA (KFSN)-For Jesus Basquez, vision is more than just a way to avoid or work. It’s a way to not miss a moment with his family.

Four months ago, a severe chemical burn to his right eye would mean potentially losing it until he met an ophthalmologist in the valley that would change his life.

The eyes of Jesus, who works in the fields to earn a living, are easily irritated and immediately reassured through eye drops.

One afternoon he grabbed what he thought was eye drops and found that it was the acid used to clean the gold jewels.

“At that time, I immediately felt a burning sensation and pain,” says Basquez.

Jesus says he immediately rushed to the bathroom and rinsed his eyes with water before rushing to the ER. So they did the same.

But the pain didn’t go away.

Dr. Azhar Sarahudin, an ophthalmologist who heard about Jesus’ case, knew he was a perfect candidate for a stem cell transplant. This is a rare operation that has never been done in Central Valley.

“He burned not only the white areas of his eyes, but also the cover of his eyes, called the cornea, which burned the entire front of his eyes and severely damaged them. If nothing was done, his eyes would deteriorate. He would continue to do so and eventually lose his eyes. Not only would he lose his eyesight, but he would have been in severe pain for the rest of his life, “he added.

Dr. Sarafdin consulted with a colleague for several months before attempting a complex procedure at Basquez.

“We talked about the right technique for harvesting those cells. How to transplant them, how to prevent them from being damaged in the process of transferring them,” he said. It was.

In a procedure of approximately 2 hours, healthy stem cells were removed from one eye and placed in the injured eye.

The hope is that those cells will retain, grow and replace the damaged cells.

One week after surgery, Dr. Sarahudin says Jesus’ eyes are healing better than expected and the cells are showing signs of growth. That is, he will regain his perception of depth and peripheral vision.

“He’s 75% likely to have good eyesight in his eyes,” says Dr. Sarah Dinh. “There’s a long way to go before him and nothing is guaranteed, but I feel very optimistic.”

Jesus said the pain had subsided, and over time it will be known if he will regain full vision.

“I am grateful to God for getting the help I need, and hopefully I can regain my eyesight,” Basquez said.

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