WhiteBoardness - 4/8/97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 97 12:53:37 -0700
Subject: WhiteBoardness - 4/8/97
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for Tuesday, April 08, 1997
Surgeons restored a Briton's sight by inserting a piece of his eyetooth into
his eye -- a strange procedure, the patient admits, but it works.
"I can't believe it. It is magic," said 62-year-old Bhimji Varsani, whom
doctors say has gone from blindness to being able to read halfway down an
Varsani was the first Briton to undergo the complex, two-part operation,
developed by Giancarlo Falcinelli at Rome's San Camillo Hospital, where the
surgery has been done 180 times.
Under the procedure, surgeons ground up a piece of Varsani's eyetooth and
jawbone to build a frame for an artificial cornea, which was stitched into
his left eye.
Without the tooth and bone frame, the artificial cornea would eventually
fall out of the eye socket. Tooth and bone are the best materials for the
implants, doctors say.
Varsani -- blinded in one eye by smallpox since childhood and then in the
other by an infection two years ago -- previously underwent three failed
transplants of donor corneas.
With this procedure, Varsani can see as well enough to read newspapers and
tell the time from a wall clock, said Christopher Liu, consultant ophthalmic
surgeon at the Sussex Eye Hospital in southern England where Varsani was
The procedure cost $11,000 -- and, of course, Varsani did give his eyetooth
"No one could give me a guarantee it would work," he said. "But I thought
if it would help me see, it was worth taking the chance."
A woman whose 6-year-old son was abducted from their front yard chased the
suspect in her car and repeatedly rammed his car until he set the boy free.
With mother and child safely back together an hour later, authorities
arrested Elton Choate, 20, and charged him Sunday with kidnapping. He was
jailed on $100,000 bond.
Sheriff's deputies got a call that a boy was abducted while playing in the
front yard, but his mother had left in pursuit of the kidnapper by the time
She rammed her car into the suspect's car several times until it eventually
stopped, police said. The man pushed the boy out of the car and his mother
grabbed him, police said.
A German photographer hoping to get hundreds of Berliners to pose naked in
front of the city's Brandenburg Gate on Sunday had to settle for a more
modest project when only two volunteers appeared.
Manfred Schonlau, who was detained and fined by police in Cologne recently
when he attempted a similar project in front of its famous cathedral, had
to make do with pictures of a man and a woman wearing only fig leaves in
front of Berlin's landmark.
Berlin police did not intervene, concentrating on keeping some 300
spectators from blocking traffic.
Answering a call on a mobile phone he had just stolen in a break-in, a
gullible thief succumbed to the seductive voice on the line and unknowingly
made a date with the law.
Police First Sgt. Major Yardena Rahamim said she initially called the
suspect after the break-in in Haifa on Saturday just to "get an idea of who
"In the course of ad-libbing I realized he was friendly, so I spontaneously
pretended I was a lonely girl from a conservative village who wanted to go
out. I realized he was hot for me so I arranged a meeting and he fell for
it," she said.
Dressed in plainclothes, Rahamim met the man, who approached her
enthusiastically, smelling strongly of aftershave. But his amorous mood was
soon dampened when the date turned into an arrest.
The suspect, a 22-year-old Israeli who was not identified, had driven to
the rendezvous in a car stolen in the break-in, along with the phone.
Rahamim said thousands of dollars worth of stolen property was in the car.
© 1997 Peter Langston