MIAM, Fla., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- A 60-year-old woman says she can see again after a tooth was implanted into her eye in a Miami surgery.
Though the process has long been used in Asia and Europe, the procedure had never been performed in the United States before, CNN reported Wednesday.
Kay Thornton of Smithdale, Miss., became blind in 2000 after getting Stevens-Johnson syndrome, apparently caused by medication, CNN said. The broadcaster said the Mayo Clinic describes the syndrome as a rare disorder in which the "skin and mucous membranes react severely to a medication or infection," and causes "a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters, eventually causing the top layer of skin to die and shed."
Thornton also lost her nails, her hair and most of her skin, but all symptoms eventually reversed themselves except her vision.
"I thought about suicide, but then I thought, if I did it, I probably wouldn't do it right," Thornton told CNN, but "I just asked God to help me. I couldn't do it by myself. He taught me patience, and I never gave up."
Finally, she qualified at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami for a months-long procedure in which an eye tooth -- also called a canine or a cuspid -- was implanted in one eye. The tooth was used as a base to hold a prosthetic lens.
Dr. Victor Perez, a cornea specialist at the institute, said nearly two weeks after her bandages were removed, her vision is 20/70 without corrective lenses in the treated eye, CNN reported.