Anonymous donor saves Birmingham teen’s sight

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) – Demetrius Reynolds is only 19 years-old, but he is losing his sight.  He suffers from Keratoconus, a degenerative eye diseases that reshapes the cornea.  If untreated, it can lead to blindness.  Reynolds, who was raised in Birmingham by his aunt, Henrietta Reynolds, wants to further his education in college, but he’s worried about being able to see during lectures or to read textbooks.

Doctors suggested a corneal transplant, but Henrietta did her own research and found a procedure that she thought would be better suited to her nephew’s needs.  However, there was a problem.  The procedure, pioneered by a Beverly Hills ophthalmologist, is very pricey. Henrietta tried to sell her home to afford the procedure, but she could not find a buyer.

Luckily, a former patient of that Beverly Hills doctor heard about Demetrius, and was touched by his story.  That person made an anonymous donation to cover the teen’s procedure.  Miracle Flights for Kids stepped up and donated the travel costs, and Marriott signed on the cover travel expenses.

On Tuesday, Demetrius and his aunt will fly to the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute to meet with Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler.  He will undergo what’s called a corneal cross-linking procedure that should correct his vision.  “He will be able to sit in the classroom and look up and see the board,” Henriette Reynolds explained.  “Do you know how beautiful that is?”

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