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26-year-old with Down syndrome on his way to third triathlon thanks to rare eye treatment

1 year 7 months 4 days ago Tuesday, October 18 2022 Oct 18, 2022 October 18, 2022 7:04 PM October 18, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A 26-year-old with Down syndrome received a special eye treatment at the Williamson Eye Center that's now allowing him to move forward with his third triathlon. 

Christopher Ballard suffers from keratoconus, a rare eye condition that affects people with Down syndrome five percent to 30 percent more than people without it. Ballard was able to have a special operation to slow the progression of his diagnosis. 

"It was hard... but my eyes got stronger with it," Ballard said. 

The procedure is the only FDA-approved surgery for people who have been affected by keratoconus. Ophthalmologist Dr. Blake Williamson said the procedure decreases the need for future surgeries. 

"You get less thinning [of the cornea] and less need to go ahead and have a corneal transplant," Williamson said.

Ballard said he's certainly thankful for Dr. Blake has done for him. He says he's not quite ready to run another marathon until the weather gets cooler, though.

"It's just too hot," Ballard said. 

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