• Breakthrough blindness treatment called a 'miracle' by doctors


    Doctors are calling a breakthrough in blindness treatment a miracle after it helped a young man in Boston to see clearly for the first time in his life.

    The new treatment was used this week in Boston, proving to be a sign of hope for those who have trouble seeing.

    The treatment, which was performed on Tuesday, is a form of gene therapy that's being used on a teenager who inherited blindness.

    Hours later, doctors were already calling it a "miracle". 

    Jack Hogan, 13, has had trouble seeing since birth due to a gene deficiency in his eyes. 

    "I have trouble seeing at night, around 6 at night, I'll go inside and I can't see, like outside at all," said Jack.

    Jack's had severe limitations to his eyesight and had no peripheral vision.

    However, all of that changed after his surgery at Mass Eye and Ear, where doctors injected a modified virus into Jack's eye to correct the deficiency. 

    "This drug really can be a miracle for these patients and it means so much to me that it's available now," said Dr. Jason Comander.

    Mass Eye and Ear is one of just eight medical centers in the US allowed to perform the gene therapy - the only one in New England.

    The treatment, however, is highly expensive, where some reports put it at $850,000 - and it's not yet clear how much insurance will cover.

    Jack's mom says the surgery to repair her son's vision is invaluable.

    "I mean, you think about all the things that you can't see, we all have sight so he's never had it before so he doesn't even know what he's missing right now," said Jeanette Hogan.

    Jack admits he was nervous about the needles going in his eye, but says it was well worth it.

    "I knew it was gonna change my life so I knew I just had to suck it up - time to be a man," said Jack.

    Now, with better eyesight, Jack can enjoy life like any other teenager. He's always wanted to play basketball, but his vision kept him on the sidelines.

    Along with the gift of better eyesight doctors at Mass Eye and Ear gave him, Jack also got a Celtics jersey from the hospital staff that he can now sport on the court.

    "Oh yeah, with my peripheral vision I can play basketball and I can see the whole court," said Jack.

    Right now Jack is still unsure how the surgery went, since it'll take about a month to fully see the results.


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