MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – While many teenagers may be begrudgingly falling into a daily routine at school, Mount Vernon resident Tanesha Ford is happily bounding from class to class with a smile on her face.
Ford, 17, nearly had to miss her senior year of high school after her eyesight failed her just over a year ago. With her glasses no longer working, she took a trip to Gerald Zaidman, a corneal surgeon, who diagnosed her with keratoconus, a disease in the cornea that can lead to blindness.
Before being diagnosed, Ford, a top student at Mount Vernon High School, was an active member of the track team and cheerleading squad. When her eyesight deteriorated, she was forced to abandon those pursuits and her grade suffered as she required classmates to take notes for her.
Zaidman performed a cornea transplant on Ford in June, and reported that she could see clearly two weeks later and her eyesight has steadily improved at each of her monthly visits since. The donor tissue was provided by the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York City and the surgery was performed in Valhalla at the Westchester Medical Center.
Less than three months after having her eye cut open, Ford has returned to the classroom and her grades have steadily deviated to their norm. She is once again competing in track and plans to pursue a spot on the volleyball team in the winter. When she graduates next spring, she plans to pursue a medical career in college.
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