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New Procedure Restores Nearly Blind Illinois Boy’s Vision

PEORIA, Ill. (KPHO) – Although Jake Anstett was blind in his left eye and could barely see out of his right one, he’s always been a pretty good shot.

“After a while, I just got used to it,” said Jake Anstett.

But now that he can see, his Coach Gary Rath says the sky’s the limit

“Jake was a real solid player before. We didn’t even realize what he had was that severe. Everything’s just going to get better, get easier for him,” said Rath.

Two years ago, Jake Anstett was diagnosed with a rare eye disorder called keratoconus.

His doctors told him without a cornea transplant, he would eventually lose his vision completely. But that all changed when his mother sat down last month to watch the Olympics.

It turned out Steven Holcomb, a gold medalist on the U.S. bobsled team, was diagnosed with the same disorder. His vision was restored after meeting Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler of Boxer Wachler Vision Institute.

Dr. Wachler invested and performed the Holcomb C3R procedure.

On Thursday, Jake Anstett traveled to California for an appointment with the doctor.

“Right when I opened my eyes, he showed me a card that had a bunch of numbers on it, and I could read the numbers all the way down to the 20/20 line,” said Jake Anstett.

“Understanding what he’s gone through and then to see his reaction, his smile and the doctor’s reaction of wow – it’s priceless,” said Jake’s father Jim Anstett.

Now that Jake is able to see clearly for the first time in two years. He says he’s ready to live life in a world he almost forgot existed.

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