Seeing is Believing
Carl Chapin (left) with
Dr. Bud Kurwa
Carl Chapin looked around the
room and literally could not believe his eyes. Especially
his right eye in which he had been blind for the last 65 years.
He looked around in wonder and tears of joy flowed as he gave
his eye surgeon, Dr. Bud Kurwa, a grateful hug for performing
a virtual miracle with the help of the latest technology in
eye surgery at the Foothill Presbyterian Hospital in Glendora.
Carl, 71, had been blinded in the right eye since 1941 when
a glass bottle cut his eye half open and pretty much destroyed
the vision. In the years to come he went to see practically
every eye doctor in town and got the same depressing answer,
“This eye is blind and will never see again.”
Having pretty much resigned himself to his fate Carl was living
his life as a one-eyed man. He stayed awake nights wondering
if he ever lost his one good eye how would he manage. Sixty-five
years later, one day, a friend mentioned to him about the
quiet miracles Dr. Kurwa was crafting with the help of the
latest technology at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital. He coaxed
him to go — at least get a second opinion (more like
a 22nd opinion) from Dr. Kurwa.
Dr. Kurwa was very conservative and said it looked pretty
hopeless but if he was willing to try — he would give
it his best shot. With some sophisticated tests that no one
had ever performed before on him, Dr. Kurwa said the PAM test
was positive, the corneal topography showed the scar tissue
could be corrected and there was potentially good vision in
the seemingly blind eye.
Tongue in cheek Dr. Kurwa said the PAM test shows a capacity
for about 20/60 vision if all went well using the high tech
equipment for surgery at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital. Carl’s
eyes lit up with hope and he said “Let’s do it
today.” 20/60 vision was way better than the blindness
that he had lived with all these years.
On September 12 two hours of intricate surgery later, including
removal of the injured cataract, a lens implant, removal of
scar tissue, repair of the torn iris and correction of astigmatism,
Carl went home with a patch on his eye. He lay awake most
of the night and prayed for a miracle. He was bright and early
at Dr. Kurwa’s office the next morning waiting impatiently
to get his patch off.
He looked around the room in disbelief. The patch had just
come off and he kept closing the good eye to make sure he
was not imagining this. The colors were so bright they dazzled
him, he kept looking to make sure that it was not a mirage
and would not suddenly go dark on him. This was truly a miracle.
God had answered his prayers today. Thanks to Dr. Kurwa and
the amazing technology at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital.
On October 3, less than 1 month after surgery Carl was seeing
20/30 with this eye.
Speaking of his success to Pakistan Link, Dr Kurwa stated:
“The question you asked is an interesting one. What
did we do different from all the other doctors this gentleman
went to see to allow us to restore his sight. Most doctors
assumed it was a bad eye and could not be saved. As you know
doctors are busy and don’t have the time to do all the
detailed checking or see if the eye is capable of seeing.
They assume that it’s been blind for so long, it suffered
such a severe injury, it’s probably damaged beyond repair.
“Because we specialize in tough cases that most other
doctors don’t want to deal with they often send us the
tough cases and I have technology that most doctors don’t
want to invest in that allows me to evaluate the potential
for vision with sophisticated instrumentation such as the
Ultrasound B scan, the corneal topographer, and the Potential
Acuity Meter. If one takes the time and trouble to evaluate
the eye carefully one can tell what is the potential capability
“This is exactly what we did for Mr. Chapin. We did
not just assume he was blind to save ourselves some effort.
Every test was performed to see what was the potential for
vision with that eye. I was pleased to see that he was not
totally blind and behind the scar tissue and the cataract
the eye was capable of seeing. So I said a prayer and did
the surgery and MashaAllah we were successful with God's Grace.
So essentially one has to be prepared to go the extra mile
and see and do a more thorough evaluation to see what the
patient can benefit from and we believe we spare no effort
in getting the best vision for the patient even when it looks