This is my Dad’s retina.
As written previously, he has Juvenile Macular Degeneration, Stargardt’s Disease. This causes degeneration of the macula fovea, which is basically the area of the retina with the highest concentration of cells for acute vision.
At this point, my dad can see very little. He is an independent soul and does as much as he can for himself – but driving has never been a possibility, and with the reading aids he uses it takes forever to read a document. He works, by the way. He and my mom have always made me proud.
This is Professor Robert MacLaren from Oxford University (and a number of other institutions). He has been in the news lately for his groundbreaking surgery which is set to cure retinal blindness. They recently performed the surgery on a man with Choroideraemia. Prof MacLaren is also busy with research surgery for Stargardt’s Disease.
My dad started losing his vision at the age of nine. That is terribly long to go without seeing much… I emailed Professor MacLaren. We have been waiting so long for something like this. I knew I would research it if there was nothing by the time I qualified, but now it seems the wait may soon be over.
I am not sure I can explain the excitement this research brings me. Dad has never complained about his lack of sight, but he has also made it clear that he would grab an opportunity to see again with both hands.