You’d be hard pressed to find a link between a tooth and an eyeball; but for one 42 year old British man, it’s not so difficult. That’s because Martin Jones had his own tooth transplanted into his eye.
The construction worker from Rotherham lost his vision 15 years ago in a workplace accident. He was working at a scrapyard—when in an instant his life would be changed forever—a tub of white hot aluminum exploded in his face.
Jones suffered 37 per cent burns to his body—forcing him to wear a body stocking for 23 hours a day following the accident. His left eye was destroyed and had to be removed. But his right eye was saved—even though he was unable to see through it. Eye specialists initially tried to save his sight using stem cells from a donor but the attempt failed. Eight years following the accident, Jones got married—but he couldn’t see his wife-to-be walking down the aisle. Years later, Jones’ doctors explained a revolutionary procedure that could restore his vision.
“I met my wife when I was blind and when I found out there was a chance I would get my sight back the first person I wanted to see was her,” he said. His doctors decided that he was suitable for a revolutionary tooth transplant that could only be performed by one surgeon in England. The surgeon began by removing one of Jones’ canine teeth and drilling a hole in it to convert the tooth into a holder for a special optical lens. The tooth was then inserted into his cheek for three months to enable it to grow new tissue and blood vessels.
Finally, the surgeon inserted the tooth into Jones’ eyeball—complete with the fitted lens. Jones had to wear a bandage over his eye for two weeks, when the bandage was finally removed, doctors—and Jones—were elated to discover that he achieved near perfect vision.
“The doctors took the bandages off and it was like looking through water,” Jones said. At last, after being married for several years, Jones was finally able to see his wife.
“I saw this figure and it was her. She’s wonderful and lovely. It was unbelievable to see her for the first time.”