Mr. Lawson’s Eyeing Situation


Mr. Lawson posing after surgery

Mitchell Maynard and Bryce Russell

Advanced Placement Biology teacher Micheal Lawson recently got a cornea transplanted. Lawson was suffering from the eye disease Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy.

“My vision was starting to deteriorate a bit, but I thought it was just normal aging,” Lawson said.

Lawson was diagnosed in 2012 after a basketball incident where his retina was torn after being poked in the eye. Tearing his retina landing him in the doctor’s office, which coincidentally the doctor noticed something off with his cornea.

“My optometrist actually diagnosed my condition before it was too bad,” Lawson said.

Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy is caused by the deterioration of the cornea. Resulting in many symptoms such as swelling of the eye and blurry or even complete loss of vision.

“My symptoms vary throughout the day,” Lawson said. “It would get blurry then cloudy and hazy.”

Some treatments for Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy are drying out the cornea using topical saline and a hair dryer. This will reduce symptoms, but treatment will not cure the disease.

“I did quite a bit of online research to find a surgeon and found Dr. Gurpreet Singh,” Lawson said. “He was one of the best in the area.”

The only known cure for Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy is keratoplasty, also known as corneal transplant surgery. In the process, the entire cornea is removed then replaced with a donor’s cornea.

“I was mildly anxious about the surgery but excited nonetheless,” Lawson said.

After roughly two hours, Lawson came out of surgery with a new and properly functioning cornea.

“I remember not being able to move my head since it was taped down to the hospital bed,” Lawson said. “Evidently, when I first came out of the anesthesia, I was thrashing around a lot, which isn’t good for the new cornea, so they knocked me out again and tapped my head down.”

After the keratoplasty was over, Lawson was ordered by Dr Singh to lay on his back for 48 hours to give the new cornea time to set in place. Additionally, he was prescribed antibiotics and eye drops to help with the healing process.

“After the surgery, I just wish I’d done it sooner,” Lawson said. “The difference is already night and day “If I could tell anyone else who was suffering from this Don’t put it off! It’s painless and helps so much.”