Cornea transplant saves local man's vision

Cornea transplant saves local man's vision

Published at 8:18am 6th September 2019. (Updated at 8:31am 6th September 2019)

Christopher Nixon Optometrists Promoted by
Christopher Nixon Optometrists

A local man has told Stray FM how his eyesight was saved thanks to a cornea transplant and regular visits to his optometrist.

  • Jon Clayton from Harrogate received a corneal graft to save his vision and regularly visits Christopher Nixon Optometrists.
  • A seasoned golfer, Jon tells how his eyesight was saved by the life-changing procedure which allowed him to continue playing.
  • Corneal grafts involve replacing a damaged piece of the eye with a donated cornea, but donation figures are low in the UK.

Local man Jon Clayton tells how a 'corneal graft' has helped vastly improve his vision, which involves replacing part of his own eye with a transplant.

Jon had his first corneal graft in 1990 before undergoing a 'regraft' three years later, and now regularly visits Christopher Nixon in Starbeck where he receives two different types of contact lenses.

Jon claims he now has the best vision he has ever had in his life:

"It's very humbling to think that somebody has donated their organs to give someone else a better chance at better eyesight.

"I'm eternally grateful to the person that did that - it wasn't a lifesaving thing, but it was a life-enhancing thing for sure."

As the Chairman at Pannal Golf Club and an avid golfer himself, Jon explained how his two corneal grafts have allowed him to continue playing the sport he loves:

"There's one particular hole at Pannal which is the 17th. It's about 200 yards and looks across over the hills and out towards the Yorkshire Dales and I can now see a golf ball on the green, whereas I couldn't do that before."

Jon Clayton
Corneal grafts can improve sight, relieve pain and treat severe infection or damage by replacing the cornea with a transplanted one.

Corneal grafts can improve sight, relieve pain and treat severe infection or damage, with keratoconus one of the most common reasons for the procedure.

One pair of donated corneas can help provide for as many as 10 life-changing surgeries, however there is a shortage of cornea donations in the UK with not enough donated to meet growing demand.

Although there are risks during surgery such as the body rejecting the new cornea, around 95% of full-thickness cornea transplants in low-risk conditions successfully last at least 10 years.

How is a corneal graft performed?

A full-thickness cornea graft involves the circular piece of damaged cornea being removed from the centre of the eye and replaced with a donated cornea.

The new cornea is held in place by tiny stitches, which sometimes form a star-like pattern around the edges and may be seen faintly after the operation.

Most cornea graft operations involve transplanting the full thickness of the cornea, although recent advances in technology mean it's sometimes possible to only transplant part of the cornea.


To find out more about Christopher Nixon Optometrists and what they can offer for you, find them online or give the practice a call on 01423 885764.

Ben Groom from Stray Lifestyle spoke to Jon Clayton, a patient of Christopher Nixon Optometrists who is reaping the benefits of a cornea transplant:

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