ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida boy is regaining his sight thanks to an experimental stem cell treatment he had two months ago in China.
When he was a baby, 2-year-old Tre Burgos was diagnosed with optic nerve hypoplasia, a medical condition that results in underdevelopment of the optic nerves and causes blindness.
The cause of the condition is unknown, but it is more prevalent in people with albinism.
In April, Abby Wolfe took Tre to China to undergo the stem cell treatment. The family spent $43,000 on the procedure.
"Two weeks prior to leaving we went over to Shands (HealthCare at the University of Florida) over in Gainesville," said Wolfe. “His vision was rated at 20/1200, and when we went back three weeks ago his vision was rated at 20/200."
People with a vision of 20/1200 to 20/6000 are considered to be very severely impaired, according to Blind World magazine. People in this group are usually dependent on a cane or guide dog for mobility.
People with a vision of 20/200 are seriously impaired, but have mobility and can read with low-vision aids. A vision of 20/200 means that Tre sees clearly from 20 feet away what someone with 20/20 vision would see clearly from 200 feet away.
Tre’s treatment involved four stem cell injections through an I.V. and a catheter through the spine.