Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
U.S. defender requires unique eye surgery
by Ridge Mahoney, October 16th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[U.S. SOCCER] His medical situation isn't nearly as serious as those of teammates Oguchi Onyewu and Charlie Davies, yet U.S. defender Jay DeMerit will undergo eye surgery Monday in London.

DeMerit is suffering from an eye infection and will need to have the cornea in his left eye replaced. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Julian Stevens at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in a new procedure that DeMerit says will cut his recovery time in half.

"There's only one place in the United States that does it and only one place in Europe, and that's in London, so I'm really fortunate to be there," says DeMerit, who debunks reports that he cut himself putting in a contact lens. "A lot of people in Europe fly into London to have this surgery done."

The scarred portion of the cornea, which is the clear, disc-shaped part of the eye that covers the pupil, is cut out with a laser and replaced, either with a similar piece from a human donor or an artificial one manufactured from transparent polymers.

"They'll cut out the exact same shape of the cornea with these high-tech lasers, just drop it in a new one and stitch my eye," says DeMerit. "With this new procedure, they hope I can be out in a month or two, which to be honest, isn't that bad. The traditional way they said I'd be out three or four months."

DeMerit says his cornea was scratched by a dust particle or piece of grit that got underneath his contact lens. By the time eye drops began to heal the cut an infection had taken hold. Powerful antibiotics used to combat the infection caused the scarring that will require removal.

"After about 24 hours, my eye looked like a zombie eye, my pupil had turned white, and my iris and retina had turned a different color," says DeMerit. "It was such a freak thing and very scary. I've worn contacts for 10 years and I've been getting dust particles in my eyes all my life,

"It's just a blur. I would potentially have blurry vision, permanently, if I didn't have the surgery. Now I have to have a corneal replacement, that's like a normal thing that people do, but that's the reality of the situation. I have to stay positive about it."

DeMerit says he scheduled Lasix surgery last summer so that he'd no longer have to wear contact lenses, but the team's success in the Confederations Cup deprived him of the recovery time he'd have needed before reporting to Watford for preseason training.

DeMerit's performance in the Confederations Cup, where the USA upset the world's best team, Spain, established him as a key defender for the USA. 

"I had the appointment booked and everything, but we ran out of time," he says. "Now I really wish I would have had it done, obviously."

DeMerit's eye injury, which he suffered in late September, is another stroke of bad luck for the U.S. team.

Serious injuries Davies suffered in a car crash could require a year to heal and may end his career; Onyewu tore the patellar tendon in his left knee Wednesday against Costa Rica and will be out an estimated three to four months.

DeMerit is anxious, yet realistic.

"I don't want to rush or do anything that could increase the risk to my eye but I do want to get back as quickly as possible with the right attitude," says DeMerit. "We're really lucky in the sense that we're surrounded by the best doctors and the best physios and best trainers, as professional athletes, to get that kind of care. Together, we'll get it sorted out and I'll get back out there. That's the goal and I' m all confident that it will happen."

 

 

 

 

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Roy Keane    
"No way Wayne Rooney should be going to China. He can still play football at the ...
What They're Saying: Josh Mitchell    
"We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was an incredible experience to be playing ...
MLS Camp Chatter: Atlanta United shows off weapons    
Atlanta United got goals from all three Designated Players -- including goals from Josef Martinez in ...
Sneak Peek: Union coach Curtin promises 'fun'    
Philadelphia reached the playoffs for just the second time in its history last year and exited ...
Sneak Peek: Near-miss ramps up expectations for TFC    
Less than three months after breaking through as the first Canadian team to play in the ...
Sneak Peek: Quakes seek help for Wondo    
It's been rough going for the San Jose Earthquakes since they won the Supporters' Shield in ...
CCL: More frustration for New York Red Bulls    
Playing their first game ever in the knockout stage of the Concacaf Champions League against the ...
TV Report: MLS regional broadcast deals announced    
MLS teams are starting to announce regional television plans for the 2017 season. Houston and Sporting ...
Video Pick: Pouting keeper protests by giving up    
So upset was the goalkeeper of Vietnamese team Long An at a penalty kick call he ...
MLS Injury Report: Surgery sidelines Whitecaps' Reyna    
Vancouver will need a backup plan to replace departed playmaker Pedro Morales. The team has announced ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives