Two-year-old British girl Dakota Clarke can see for the first time after undergoing pioneering stem cell treatment in China.
Dakota, who was born blind, is the first British patient to undergo the new type of therapy.
The £30,000 treatment, which involves stems cells taken from an umbilical cord being fed into her forehead, has allowed her to see people, objects, colours and lights around her.
Dakota suffers from Septo-Optic Dysplasia, which means the optic nerve does not develop properly, and has responded quicker than expected to the treatment. Her parents, Wilma, 28, and dad Darren, 34, are hoping she will continue to improve and have a life time of sight.
Speaking from the Qingdao People’s Hospital in southern China, Mrs Clarke, from Newtownabbey. near Belfast, said: “We didn’t know if the treatment would work, and people kept telling us it was too experimental, but we had to do this.
“It’s been worth every single penny to see the changes in her.”
Mr Clarke added: “It’s nothing short of a miracle for us. She can see the world for the first time.