Dr. Markovich examines Dr. Vladimir Promovich.
(photo credit: Courtesy/Kaplan Medical Center)
A retired Kaplan Medical Center pediatrician who became blind last year can see
again thanks to a donated cornea transplanted into his right eye by his
colleagues in the Rehovot hospital.
Dr. Vladimir Promovich, who made
aliya from Ukraine in 1998, said that in gratitude for his restored eyesight, he
will volunteer at Kaplan and examine patients.
The 69-year-old Promovich,
a long-time specialist and Ashdod resident, underwent several attempts in 2011
to restore his sight but none of them succeeded.
Last week, after a
patient died, the family agreed to donate the cornea, and the operation was
conducted by Dr. Arye Markovich and his ophthalmology department team.
relatively new technology enables doctors to split one cornea in half for
transplantation into two recipients while removing only part of a cornea from
“In Ukraine, I specialized in lung diseases including
tuberculosis in children. When I came to Israel, I wanted to continue
working as a doctor,” said Promovich.
He received a license in internal
medicine and started working in the internal medicine departments at Kaplan and
at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, he said.
“Then my vision problems
began. My left eye failed, and in my right eye I could see less because of a
decline in the cornea. Because of that, I stopped working completely and had
difficult doing even simple tasks.
“I am totally independent now. It’s
amazing,” said the pensioner. “When my vision improves even more, I will offer
my services in pediatrics and internal medicine at Kaplan. After all, I worked
here, and now they have given me my sight back.”
Prof. Ayala Pollack,
head of the ophthalmology department, said there has in recent months been a
dramatic increase in the number of transplanted corneas, as families are more
aware of the need to give and the growing use in the split-cornea technique.