You might want to grab a tissue for this story. A blind man was given the gift of sight again, and his reaction to laying eyes on his wife for the first time in many years is beyond heartwarming.
The craziest part of the story? His operation to regain his eyesight included one of his own teeth.
The story, including the amazing surgical procedure to restore his sight with one of his own teeth, were documented on 60 Minutes.
72-year-old John Ings said that with the help of oral and maxillofacial specialist, Dr. Shannon Webber, and oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Greg Moloney, his sight was restored to a “dirty window” which now allows him to get around more easily and look at his wife Berry.
Prior to his surgery, he told 60 Minutes: “I’m looking forward to [seeing Berry], to see if she still looks as beautiful as ever.”
After a four-part surgery, Ings was able to see his wife for the first time in a very long time. The amazing moment was captured on video, as he looks at his wife and the pair sob before she asks her husband, “Well? What do you see?” His response: “Gorgeous.”
The Courier Mail reports the details of inserting one of Ings’ extracted teeth into his cheek to allow tissue to grow around it, with Dr. Webber explaining: “We rely on the tooth to gain its own blood and tissue supply so when it is removed from the mouth, what you have essentially is a living complex.”
The tooth was removed three months later and inserted into Ings’ old cornea, with skin taken from his mouth placed over the new cornea to seal it. This is the first time the surgery, known as osteo-odonto kerato-prosthesis, was performed in Australia.
Ing had damaged his right eye in a childhood accident and lost vision over the years due to the herpes simplex virus. He noted to Goulburn Post: “My vision has been getting worse over the last 16 years to the point where I can’t see out of my right eye and hardly at all out of the left eye. The herpes simplex virus has chewed through the cornea over the years.’
Ings told 60 Minutes his outlook on being able to see once again, explaining: “You’ve got to lose it and regain it to really appreciate it.”
Commenters at the Daily Mail’s coverage of this story were blown away, with remarks such as: “The gift of sight is so precious, I am so happy for this gentleman to have his sight restored !! Great story,” “The wonder of surgical science, The way forward,” and “Such a beautiful and amazing story.”
Others commented: “That is amazing!, “How incredible. Wish them all the best,” and “Great job!! Congratulations to the scientists that made it possible, and to the old man that regained his sight.”
Another was overwhelmed, noting: “That was very emotional. Delighted for him. It is truly amazing what can be done these days.”
Facebook users following the story remarked: “Truly amazing. Credit to the doctors who are so phenomenal at what they do,” and “So lovely for the whole family!!! It has been a long hard road but must be so worth it. So exciting to see his kids and all of his grand kids too. Very happy for them.”