Stem Cells Return Sight to 76-Year-Old
Woman to see great-grandson for first time
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2010 2:38 PM CDT
This shows a 400x microscope image of a 5-day-old embryo or blastocyst that university researchers used to create the school's first human embryonic stem cell line, UM-4-6.   (AP Photo/University of Michigan, Gary Smith)

(Newser) – Stem cell treatment gave the gift of sight back to a 76-year-old British grandmother, putting her closer to her goal of seeing her 2-year-old great grandson for the first time, the Daily Mail reports. In an attempt to treat giant cell arteritis, the disease that took her sight in February 2009, Dorothy Leach received weekly stem cell injections over the course of 43 days at a hospital in China.

"When I got back to Heathrow Airport last Wednesday I could see such a lot," Leach said. "It was unbelievable." The stem cells will continue to grow and differentiate in Leach's eyes, so experts expect her sight to continue to improve over the next six to 12 months. Nonetheless, Leach already says "It was definitely worth it." As her sight continues to improve, Leach looks forward to finally laying eye on her 2-year-old great grandson. "As soon as his parents can get here to visit I am hoping to see him."

 

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