Israeli Arab newborn's sight saved by cornea transplant

Baby girl from Jaljulya suffers from a rare inherited eye disease.

baby sight 88 (photo credit: )
baby sight 88
(photo credit: )
A month-old baby girl from Jaljulya suffering from a rare inherited eye disease has been saved from blindness by a cornea transplant at the Schneider Children's Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva just 10 kilometers away from her home. The baby, Nibal Samech-Samech, has just been discharged from the hospital after two days in the ophthalmology ward. The surgery was performed by Prof. Yisrael Kramer and Dr. Moshe Lusky and a team from Schneider and the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus headed by Prof. Dov Weinberger. A second cornea is due to be transplanted into the baby's other eye within a few weeks. She was treated after the operation by Dr. Moshe Snir. The Israeli Arab baby was diagnosed with Peter's anomaly - consisting of an opaque lens and high intra-ocular pressure - at the age of four days. The disease, first described in 1906 by a German ophthalmologist, Dr. Alfred Peters, affects the eyes of people of both genders and from all ethnic groups and is a developmental error of early pregnancy. Instead of being clear as in healthy people, the center of the cornea in Peter's anomaly is hazy and white, affecting one or both eyes. The eye may be abnormal in other ways, including drainage problems of fluid in the eye and a cloudy lens. Weinberger said that the syndrome is extremely rare, and that because of the urgency of the case, contact was made with a cornea bank abroad for the purchase of a cornea for transplant. The surgery was very complicated and required a high level of skill because of the need to rehabilitate the structure of the eye and then transplant the cornea. "We saved the baby from the blindness she was born with at a very young age, thus making it possible for her to enjoy the quality of life of any normal child," he said. Her parents Balal and Sarin expressed their deep appreciation to the doctors for what they accomplished.