For Patients

A Scientific Miracle

Patient: Kevin Howe
Diagnosis: keratoconus
Sight Restored: 2015

Kevin is a PROSE patient at Kellogg Eye Center

When Karen DeLoss, OD, BostonSight PROSE Clinical Fellow at Kellogg Eye Center, could only correct the vision in Kevin Howe’s left eye to 20/40, she apologized. The police academy that Kevin wanted to attend required that his vision be correctable to 20/20 in both eyes, and Dr. DeLoss felt as if she had failed him. Kevin, however, has a very different perspective. “She did something amazing with my vision! I was 20/1250 before I got my PROSE device. I couldn’t even see the one foot tall letter ‘E’ on the vision chart – it was just a blob.”

Kevin’s struggles were the result of a horrific car accident in 1990 which left him in a trauma unit for two weeks. Kevin’s journey back to health required him to undergo numerous surgeries over the next three years, as doctors reconstructed more than 98% of his facial bone structure, using photos as a guide. “There was nothing left but bone powder and dust,” remembers Kevin.

As his overall health improved, it became clear that Kevin’s badly damaged left eye was not healing and was, in fact, deteriorating. Additionally, he was diagnosed with keratoconus, a disease in which the cornea becomes distorted and cone-shaped. These issues were exacerbated by significant corneal scarring and severe dry eye. Over the next few years, the clinical team at Kellogg tried a number of therapies to improve Kevin’s vision, without success. Further complicating things, his upper eyelid had been damaged in the accident and would not close completely, making him a poor candidate for corneal transplant surgery.

Kellogg Eye Center and PROSE patient Kevin with his wife

Kevin was determined to overcome his disability, and he thrived. He found meaningful work as a Sheriff’s Deputy, doing marine, snowmobile, and off-road vehicle patrol, and learned to live with his impairment. Wanting to do even more for his community, in 2015 Kevin looked into the possibility of becoming a police officer. Learning that 20/20 vision was a requirement of the job prompted a visit to his eye doctors at Kellogg, to see if there were advanced new technologies available that could help him. Enter Dr. DeLoss and BostonSight PROSE treatment.

Kevin will never be 20/20, but he is thrilled with the improvements in vision and comfort provided by PROSE treatment. “PROSE is allowing me to become an EMT (emergency medical technician). I will still be able to help people and give back to the community,” said Kevin. “And, for the record, we did not fail - we just changed directions! I will never be able to explain the feeling of having been on the receiving end of a miracle. A miracle that happened because of science. A miracle that caring people in the scientific community like Dr. DeLoss and everyone else at Kellogg and BostonSight made happen. Thank you all, from the depths of my heart!”