Doctors diagnosed a man with a rare eye disease called corneal limbal stem cell deficiency, which was causing the normal cells on Binns’ corneas to be replaced with scar tissue, leading to painful eye ulcers that clouded over his corneas.
Since a corneal transplant was not an option for Binns, his doctors at Toronto Western Hospital proposed something new: a limbal stem cell transplant.
Just like with an organ transplant, Binns’ doctors had to find a healthy match. It turned out his younger sister, Victoria, was the ideal candidate for the job.
In the operating room, doctors removed the scar tissue on Taylor’s eyes, then took some healthy stem cells from Victoria’s eyes and stitched them to the surface of Binns’ eyes.
“Within a month he could see 20/40,” says ophthalmologist Dr. Allan Slomovic. “His last visit he was 20/20 and 20/40.”