BERLIN, GERMANY—Dave Taylor of Little Current had given up hope on regaining his eyesight after dealing with four difficult years of doctors appointments, specialists, tests and medication, which left he and his wife Sharon with little understanding of what was causing the problem and what could be done to save what was left of his sight.
“I was legally blind,” said Mr. Taylor. “I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t really work, I couldn’t see the TV—my whole life was cut off.”
“His eyes looked foggy,” said Ms. Taylor. “They lost their colour and were grey. We were told he had optic neuritis, which was caused by a bacterial infection and he was on a high dose of prednisone. That’s all the doctors said they could do was to keep him on the medication.”
Ms. Taylor said she remembered reading about a clinic in Germany that was doing innovative medical work for eyesight when Dave first started having problems, but pushed it out of her mind, hoping they could get the help they needed in Canada.
After learning that they had exhausted all their options in the country, Ms. Taylor began researching other treatments and looked more into the Centre for Vision Restoration in Berlin.
“We spoke with Dr. Anton Fedorov, who runs the centre with his partner Julia Chibisova,” said Ms. Taylor. “We had to have a lot of tests done and send everything to them before they would agree to take Dave as a patient. They sent us an invitation letter and information about the procedure and costing.”
“Two days before we left for Germany I was getting nervous,” said Mr. Taylor. “It was a lot of money and I was having my doubts. I didn’t know if it was going to be a let down, or what to expect, but I decided to jump in with both feet first.”
“At our Centre for Vision Restoration we use therapeutic electrical stimulation which involves an interdisciplinary approach, combining neuro-ophthalmology, neurophysiology, and neurology,” their website states. “This strategy is a breakthrough in vision recovery treatment via development of a method of therapeutic electrical stimulation, which effectively achieves remarkable results within different types and stages of visual function impairments.”
“During the past 20 years we have applied our methods for vision restoration of a considerable number of patients and have gained invaluable experience in determining which patients will respond to our therapeutic electric stimulation method and under what circumstances,” explains the Centre for Vision Restoration website. “Long-term clinical experience combined with the knowledge that we gained is applied to each individual case. Treatments are customized to a patient’s need using an optimal course of electric stimulation, to achieve the best results. This is one of the reasons that 60 percent of our patients see improvement in their vision after a single course of treatment.”
“When I went in for my first treatment on Monday, April 3, they gave me small amounts of shocks for a short time, which they gradually increase over 10 sessions,” explained Mr. Taylor. “It didn’t hurt, I just saw flashes, which is normal with the treatment. By that first night I could see better and by Wednesday when we went out for dinner I could read the larger print on the menu—the first time in four years. It was amazing.”
“The doctor explained that the body is made up of electrons and that my optic nerve was all ‘bunged up’ and that the shock helps put the electrons back in the right order,” he added.
By the end of the 10 treatments Mr. Taylor’s sight had improved by 25 to 30 percent.
“It was amazing,” said Mr. Taylor. “I got my life back. I will always have eye problems, but now it is greatly improved.”
Mr. Taylor said that he is happy to be doing activities again that he thought would never be possible and is looking forward to hunting this year.
“I was at the camp recently and looked through the scope and could see,” he said. “I’m so happy to have my sight back.”
The Taylors are planning another trip back to the Centre for Vision Restoration in six to 12 months. “I am hoping that further treatments will improve my vision more,” said Mr. Taylor. “I’m so happy with how it turned out.”