Blind Man Sees Kids for the First Time, Thanks to Radical Surgery
byKaitlin StanfordOct 08, 2013
Forty-three-year-old Ian Tibbetts, of Telford, England, had thought the chances of seeing his kids with his own two eyes were long gone. He had, after all, gone blind gradually over time following a factory accident, and lost his sight completely before his twin boys were born. But thanks to a radical new surgery procedure, Tibbetts is seeing clearly now for the first time in years–and looking at his now-4-year-old boys is the best part of it all.
"It was an incredible moment—I never thought I would ever be able to see my own children,” Tibbetts told The Mirror. "I felt like I was in heaven. I just cried and cried."
The dad of two is the subject of an upcoming BBC One documentary, which follows his remarkable journey through surgery. During the procedure, which involved removing a tooth and even part of Tibbett's jaw bone, doctors inserted an eye-like device with a plastic lens. Incredibly, the removed tooth was then placed under his eye so that tissue could be grown before implantation.
The whole surgery process is being called osteo-ondonto-keratoprosthesis, and actually doesn't 100 percent guarantee the patient will regain sight at the end of it. Looks like the cards were in Tibbett's favor, though, and it was a complete success.
So what did he think when he saw his boys for the first time? To be honest, he was pretty surprised.
"They were totally different than what I pictured in my mind," he said during an interview with the BBC, explaining that he thought they'd look more like him than they did. But he wasn't too miffed about it, he explains, since turning out like their mum was a pretty fair trade.
Watch Tibbett explain how the whole thing went down on a British morning show: