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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Friday, 4 June 2010 12:08 UK
Blackpool eye specialists create new artificial eye

Joey's new eye will only be suitable for about three months

Experts at the National Artificial Eye Service in Blackpool have created a special new eye for four year old Joey Pleavin from the Wirral.

Joey had a rare form of cancer - retinoblastoma - in his left eye and doctors were unable to save it.

While Joey has been having chemotherapy, the eye experts have been working on making his new eye as close a match to his own as possible.

The work is so intricate, that everyone involved has an art degree.

The National Artificial Eye Service in Blackpool make about 6000 eyes every year. The raw materials for each one costs about 50p, the labour much more.

They match pupil size, colour and shading, concentrating on the slightest of details to make the eye as lifelike as possible.

They then add the veins using tiny individual pieces of silk thread before the eye is hardened in an oven, sealed and polished.

Joey's new eye will only be suitable for about three months. His eye socket is growing all the time and he'll probably need a new one four times a year until he's finished growing.

BBC North West Tonight's health correspondent Laura Yates reports.



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