Ian Tibbetts suffered an industrial accident more than 16 years ago when a piece of scrap metal from an oven pierced his right eye, ripping his cornea in six places. While he was able to see from his left eye, complications meant that he soon lost the vision in his left eye a year later.
Doctors led by Professor Christopher Lio at the Sussex Eye Hospital conducted a complicated surgery, known as osteo-ondonto-keratoprothesis (OOKP), in which a hole is drilled through the patient's tooth and a lens is inserted. The tooth is then placed below the eye socket to allow the tissue to grow and after several months, it is implanted in the eye with a zero chance of rejection as the tooth is a part of the body.
While the operation has restored 40 percent of Tibbetts' vision, he said that it was better than before as it allowed him to see his sons. "Before, the kids were just shapes. I couldn't make them out. I had to actually learn to tell them apart by their voices. I had a picture in my head of what they looked like but they were better. I'm a bit biased there", he said.