Toddler with rare condition undergoes cornea transplant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Toddler with rare condition undergoes cornea transplant

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A mother's dream comes true: for her child to undergo a cornea transplant.

Andrea Carlson is a mother of five.

Her youngest son, Joseph, was born with Peter's Anomaly, a rare condition that clouds a person's corneas, blinding them.

"[Doctor's] likened what his corneas were like to extremely dirty windshields," Carlson said. "So the light could come in but he couldn't see anything out."

Joseph had his first transplant at three months old, and his second a month later.

Carlson says watching an infant undergo surgery was terrifying for the whole family.

"It scared me to death," she said.

But the transplants worked.

At 17 months old, Joseph can now see.

But his doctors say there's a chance he may lose his sight again.

"If it rejects, further transplants will reject very fast," said Kenneth Goins, one of Joseph's doctors.

But Carlson's bravery through her journey earned her a spot speaking at the University of Iowa's celebration of hope.

The event took place outside the main entrance of the hospital, and celebrated those who had donated corneas and other organs.

And instead of worrying, Carlson is thankful to the donors who are helping her little boy live a normal life.

"What they've done for him is immeasurable," she said. "It's like every day he gets to open up these presents, and their his eyes."

Doctors say Joseph is doing well during his checkups, and there is no sign of his body rejecting his new corneas.

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