On August 28, 2010 Brent Lano was on his way to meet his wife at a campground when an accident caused his world to go dark. Brent suffered life threatening injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident and was taken by flight for life to a local hospital. After awakening from a 2 week coma, in addition to his other injuries including serious brain trauma broken ribs, nose, cheek bones and eye sockets, Brent discovered he was legally blind.
Due to the severity of his other injuries, Brent’s vision could not be his doctors’ first concern. However, as time went on and his other injuries began to heal Brent’s family had growing concern about his vision and they asked his physicians if there was anything that could be done to improve it. The clinicians assured Brent and his family that it would just take time for the connection between his brain and eyes to reestablish.
That’s when his parents’ neighbor, a long time patient, suggested to Brent’s family that they make an appointment at the Eye Institute to shed new light on his condition. On Brent’s behalf his Dad, Don Lano, did some internet research on the Eye Institute and decided to make an appointment with Dr. Bernd Remler (Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology) for a second opinion. “When I came, I was expecting to get some thick glasses to help me see better and get rid of the double vision I was having,” but what Brent got was a very different diagnosis.
In his left eye, Dr. Remler found severe damage to the optic nerve. Much to Brent’s surprise, Dr. Remler also diagnosed him with a retinal detachment in his right eye. Receiving these diagnoses for the first time more than 6 months after the initial accident Brent recounted “I thought for sure I would be blind for the rest of my life.” Dr. Remler, however, was able to offer hope through collaboration with fellow Eye Institute clinicians.
That day Brent saw seven physicians at the Eye Institute. Recognizing that the Eye Institute is a part of a teaching hospital, Brent says he saw multiple different specialists as well as residents and fellows who were all working together to understand his condition, make the right diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. Ultimately, Dr. Weinberg offered surgery as an option to reattach Brent’s retina. He was cautious to convey to Brent and his family that the team at the Eye Institute would do their best but Brent would probably have continuing vision deficiencies for the rest of his life.
Because of the complexity of the retinal detachment, Dr. Steven Koenig collaborated in the surgery. Dr Koenig removed Brent’s lens, and replaced it with an artificial implant, and Dr. Weinberg performed surgery in the back of the eye to reattach the retina. The surgery went well and within weeks Brent’s vision was beginning to come into focus.
“Brent had severe injuries to both eyes. Unfortunately, there was no treatment for the left eye, but I hoped that if we could repair the retina in the right eye, his vision might improve a little. Brent and his family have been very positive throughout his treatment and his recovery has far exceeded my expectations,” noted Dr. Weinberg.
Brent’s vision has continued to improve as he pursues his second chance at sight. He is hopeful he will eventually be able to drive again and he was even able to read a pre-print of this article (as vision in his right eye is now 20/40). Reflecting on their experience Brent’s parents said, “We are thankful every day that Brent went to the Eye Institute. We believe Dr. Weinberg and his team are miracle workers and we will be grateful