"But then this treatment came along, I can't thank the staff at the RVI (Royal Victoria Infirmary) enough.
"The man who attacked me was caught and sentenced to six months in jail. But I later learned that he had served only two months of that sentence."
After Air Force Wheat
AHAVE A GO hero who was blinded in one eye in a chemical attack 15 years ago has miraculously got his sight back after undergoing pioneering stem cell treatment.
This is further magnified by the fact that LSCD mostly affects young patients.
The technique avoids the need for drugs to suppress immunity and means there is no chance of the implanted cells being rejected.
Mr Turnbull was hit in his right eye, causing massive damage to the cornea stem cells, leaving him with severely impaired vision, a condition known as Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD).
Dr Francisco Figueiredo, a consultant eye surgeon, led the project with Professor Majlinda Lako and their work has just been published in the American Nike Air Force 1 Brown For Sale Journal, Stem Cells.
stem cells, in a technique developed by scientists and eye surgeons at the North East England Stem Cell Institute.
"This has transformed my life, my eye is almost as good as it was before the accident.
It is also the first in the world that does not use animal products to help grow the stem cells in the lab.
"I'm working, I can go jet skiing again and I also ride horses. I have my life back thanks to the operation."
"I was in agony instantly, my eye was clamped shut," he said.
"I had a lot of anger inside me for a long time after the attack. I lost my job because of it and I had always been a keen jet skier, which I wasn't able to do," Mr Turnbull said.
"I went home and my mum tried to wash out the chemical and then I went to hospital.
The technique can also be used to treat patients whose eyes have been damaged by contact lenses, in industrial accidents involving thermal or chemical injuries, among other diseases.
12 years of living in constant pain and with poor vision, and undergoing Nike Air Force 1 Mid Black On Feet
LSCD is a painful, blinding disease that requires long term, costly treatment with frequent clinic visits and intensive hospital admissions.
Mr Turnbull, who lives in Consett, County Durham, spoke about the attack and the impact it had on his life.
They were then implanted in the damaged eye, where they then began to function as normal, restoring sight.
Russell Turnbull is one of eight patients with impaired vision who have been treated successfully with their own Air Force Pink
"Corneal cloudiness has been estimated to cause blindness in eight million people world wide each year," Dr Figueiredo said.
"It ruined my life and I went through a really difficult time.
"It was like looking through scratched Perspex. My eye was sensitive to light, it was constantly watering. I was unable to drive as any bright light would cause me pain.
various treatments with creams and washes, Mr Turnbull became part of trials of a new treatment for the condition.
The vision loss due to LSCD makes this disease not only costly, but often requires social support due to the enormous impact on the patient's quality of life.
"I was in hospital for two weeks and eventually I was able to open the eye again.
"A large number of ocular surface diseases, both acquired and congenital, share features of partial or complete LSCD.
The team at North East England Stem Cell Institute took a tiny amount of stem cells from the good eye and grew them in a lab.
Man blinded in bus attack regains sight thanks to stem cell treatment
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