Contender for ‘Idol’ Says Sight is Improving
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
Saturday, 31 May 2008 08:00
Source: The Daily Journal
MAURICE RIVER — Port Elizabeth resident and singer Devin Riley finally may be able to fully see for the first time in her life thanks to state-of-the-art treatment she received in China.
Doctors diagnosed Riley with optic nerve hypoplasia when she was 3 months old. The condition left her with no vision in her right eye and minimal vision in her left. Riley traveled to Hangzhou, China, at the beginning of May to undergo a procedure designed to treat the condition.
Riley first gained media attention for her local singing career. Last year she auditioned — unsuccessfully — for “American Idol.”
Doctors performed the treatment, which involved using stem cells taken from the umbilical cords of newborns, to regenerate the optic nerves.
She returned to Mill-ville late Sunday evening, and Riley, 19, described the trip as “worth it.”
“It went very well,” she said. “It was an interesting and amazing experience.”
Riley said the immediate improvements have been noticeable and her eyesight is expected to get better over the coming months.
“I won’t see any major improvements for three to six months,” she said. “My eyes are already focusing better, though. They don’t shake as much.”
Additional improvements, according to Riley, include enhanced light reception.
Doctors told Riley to simply keep living her life, and she plans to follow their advice.
“I think it’s going to work,” she said. “I just have to sit back and do what I do. We’ll see what happens.”