A sister's gift of sight
Taylor Binns' future was looking bright: a hardworking, athletic 19-year-old on the Dean's List at Queen's University, enjoying the friends and freedom college life had to offer. But that same year, Taylor's world began to darken.
Intense pain routinely flashed behind Taylor's eyes and his vision began to degrade. As doctors attempted to diagnose the problem, the once happy life of a student turned into a schedule of scans, studies and tests.
The unknown disease progressed, leaving Taylor with a legally blind left eye and a regime that included up to 40 painkillers a day, just to manage his pain. Finally, after two years of uncertainty, Taylor and his team of determined doctors at Toronto Western Hospital found the answer they had been looking for: the now 22 year old had Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency.
In a brave move, Taylor agreed to a test procedure: he would be the first patient in Ontario to undergo a Limbal Stem Cell Transplant, a procedure that takes limbal stem cells from a healthy donor eye to transplant to Taylor's eye. As with any transplant, the novel surgery came with risks to both the recipient and the donor. Despite that knowledge, Taylor's sister, Tori, stepped forward. In the Binns family, courage runs deep.
After two surgeries, in both of which Tori was his donor, Taylor is now pain-free with near perfect vision. After working so closely with his doctors for over three years, Taylor was inspired to become an eye surgeon. He's set his sights on practicing at UHN.