My Story: Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy
April 2013| Norfolk, United Kingdom
One of the first wet AMD patients in the world treated with a single 20-minute radiotherapy treatment has had improved vision and no subsequent anti-VEGF injections for two years.
The well-known author of biographies, poetry and novels, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, whose biography of the sexologist Alfred Kinsey was turned into a film starring Liam Neeson and whose autobiography “Half An Arch” won the J. R. Ackerley Prize, is one of many patients whose vision has improved after treatment with Oraya therapy.
Mr. Gathorne-Hardy has wet AMD in both eyes, and is dependent on his right eye – treated with Oraya Therapy – to see to read and write because his left eye is so badly affected by wet AMD that he has reduced central vision.
He has just finished a history book about the Ottoman Empire totaling 65,000 words that was written in long hand and typed by a friend in London, who has typed nearly all his books. He noted, “I also had to do a lot of research reading and I would have found that very difficult if my right eye had not been stable. I work three or four hours in the morning and then do a few more hours in the evening if am writing a book – up to about six hours a day – fewer if am writing poetry.”
He received the Oraya Therapy on his right eye at King’s College Hospital, London, in August 2010 as part of the global INTREPID clinical study for the Oraya Therapy. He was first diagnosed with wet AMD in his left eye in 2008 and has been given on-going Lucentis® injections since, but has gradually lost vision. His right eye developed the disease in June 2010. After the Oraya Therapy the visual acuity in the right eye significantly improved with a 9-letter gain, even without any subsequent injections into the eye or any other treatment. Over two years later, he continues to enjoy a 7-letter improvement.
Mr. Gathorne-Hardy says that he is now keen to see if the Oraya therapy can be used on his other eye, which has been badly affected by wet AMD and requires continued injections. “I still go to the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital every month for injections in my other eye – and very much dislike this. The injection itself is unpleasant. Anything that happens in your eye is frightening. It’s just nerve wracking to see someone coming toward you with a needle. When I had the first injection I jumped. The eye itself feels quite bruised afterwards though I wouldn’t say it’s painful. I never thought I would go blind because by the time I was diagnosed in my first eye in 2008, I knew about Lucentis. I am grateful to be one of the first people to have this new radiotherapy treatment. I would be delighted if I could have it in my other eye too.”
(Download a copy of Jonathan’s story.)