Baby receives first look at life after cornea transplant

By Steffani Nolte
Published on July 6, 2015

Joseph Carlson was born with rare condition-Peter’sAnomaly.

NDIANOLA, Iowa —A child born with a rare condition making him blind is getting his first look at life after a cornea transplant.

Baby receives first look at life after cornea transplant

Baby receives first look at life after cornea transplant

“Right now, he is getting a chance at a sighted life that he wasn’t able to do before,” Andrea Carlson said. “He is able to see his brother and sisters and the world around him. That, to me, is amazing in and of itself. I take it day by day, because we just don’t know what tomorrow could bring.”

Andrea Carlson said she now knows her baby is seeing her when he smiles.

“Every single time, it makes me tear up,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”

“We were in the surgeon’s office, and they took off his patch that they had covered his eye,” Andrea Carlson said. “And we knew he could see something different.”

Joseph’s vision is becoming clearer as time goes on. However, his body could reject the donated corneas at any time.

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“His corneas, they were like someone had taken a white crayon and covered over his eyes,” said Andrea Carlson, Joseph’s mother.

Joseph received his first cornea transplant in April.

“We were both an emotional wreck, because we knew someone had to lose someone in order for us to get what we have. So it was kind of a bittersweet moment,” Andrea Carlson said.

Joseph had a second surgery in May.

The family doesn’t know who donated Joseph’s corneas, but said they know the second transplant came from an 18-year-old. Family members said they have written letters, but have not heard back from either donor family.

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