Wickham is eager to get the full report from Grozdanic. Depending on what he tells the company, the corneas may soon be available to more veterinary doctors.
"Anytime you develop something, you want to know how it's going to work," she said. "If it's something that is going to work, we'll move forward with it."
The new cornea is working for Dixie, but she has very little peripheral vision, Grozdanic said.
"She is visual," he said. "For Dixie, it's like looking through a peephole."
One of the tests doctors used to see how Dixie's vision is progressing is done by simply dropping a cotton ball in front of her.
If she follows the ball with her head and eyes, they know she can see it. When they preformed the test in front of her owner and she tracked the ball, Williamson was excited.
"When I came in to watch, and they dropped that cotton ball, I thought 'I got my dog back,'" he said.
Months before the surgery, when Grozdanic described the process to Williams, he didn't hesitate to give his approval, even though the procedure was new.
"It could have failed," Williams said. "But I thought it was worth trying to see what they could do. I hope they continue to research this. It's a great lesson for everybody about taking risks."
While Grozdanic recognizes that the procedure was noteworthy because it was the first, he is most excited about the improvement in Dixie's quality of life.
"It's not a good thing because it's the first one in North America. That's really secondary," he said. "We are excited because of Dixie. She was our patient for such a long time and nothing really worked. It is interesting from the research side of it, but if you can fix something that is thought to be unfixable, it gives you a huge amount of pleasure. I think all of us here feel that way. The biggest reward comes from the patient. It's great to see a completely transformed dog,
|Contact: Sinisa Grozdanic|
Iowa State University