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Seeing Hope in Cataract Treatment and Research

This is a story of happenstance and hope. The odyssey of a mom determined to secure the best medical care for her infant son.

21-year old Raven Velez, born with congenital cataracts, became desperate and dispirited when she learned her newborn son Jason has the same type of cataracts that had robbed her of much precious sight throughout her life. She was determined to improve his odds.

What’s remarkable about this mother-son story is not just Raven’s love for her son and poise but also the circumstances that led her to the surgical team of Ilana Friedman, M.D. and Norman Medow, M.D.,  both affiliated with Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center.

At the time of Raven’s diagnosis, she consulted with Dr. Friedman. What she didn’t know until later was that Dr. Medow was Dr. Friedman’s mentor, the same Dr. Medow who Raven credits with perserving the sight she does have  – after operating on her as a child.

That have her great trust in her son’s care.

Research also plays a key role in helping patients like Raven and Jason. In Einstein’s labs, dedicated basic science researchers like Ales Cvekl, Ph.D. are investigating ways to restore sight using cells from the patient’s own body to create new lenses.

Watch Raven and Jason’s inspiring story to learn more about the cataract surgery that changed their lives and the exiting progress on the cataract research front.

Also, check out this related video featuring Roy Chuck, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, with a further exploration of eye disease, including advances in cataract surgery.

Have you or a family member dealt with vision problems such as cataracts? Comment to share your experiences and thoughts.

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