A woman has shared her joy after a life-changing operation restored her vision.

For years Amanda Cullum has been unable to see everyday objects due to Fuch's Dystrophy, a heredity condition in which cells in the cornea deteriorate.

Unable to see the edge of pavements, groceries and even trees in her garden, limited vision severely affected Ms Cullum's quality of life.

On October 23, Ms Cullum became the Paget's first patient for a Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) - a specialist eye operation to help restore her sight. Previously, such an operation could only be carried out at specialist eye hospitals.

Ms Cullum went home from the Paget on the same day as her operation - and the following day, her sight was transformed.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Amanda Cullum. Picture - JPUHAmanda Cullum. Picture - JPUH (Image: JPUH)"Before, my eyes were so bad I used to go to bed and worry about what I would be able to see the next day," she said.

"I was anxious about going out of the house because I couldn’t see where the pavement ended and the road began

"I was like a prisoner.

“Now, I can’t sleep because I am so excited about what I am going to do the next day.”

Consultant ophthalmologist Mr Chrishan Gunasekera performed the DMEK surgery to repair the diseased cornea, which took less than an hour under local anaesthetic and did not require stitches.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The theatre team involved in Ms Cullum's life-changing eye surgery. Picture - JPUHThe theatre team involved in Ms Cullum's life-changing eye surgery. Picture - JPUH (Image: JPUH)“Because the procedure takes place under a local anaesthetic, it means we can carry it out as a ‘day case’ with the patient going home the same day,” he said. 

“Visual recovery time is also quicker than a full corneal transplant and, while both procedures result in good outcomes, the potential for better vision is higher with DMEK.”

DMEK involves harvesting a single layer of cells attached to a membrane just 0.01mm thick from a donor cornea and, through a tiny incision, placing and unfurling it within the patient's cornea.

The enhanced surgery is now available for more local patients.