Brent woman, 56, will be first in Europe to have new eye treatment

Virbai Patel will be a beneficiary of the surgery.

Virbai Patel will be a beneficiary of the surgery. - Credit: North West London NHS Trust

A Brent woman whose sight condition means she can no longer read will become the first person in Europe to partake in a medical trial. 

Doctors at Central Middlesex Hospital will attempt to save the sight of Virbai Patel, 56, who has diabetic macular edema. 

Medics have previously failed to help her by using existing treatments for the condition which is caused by blood vessels leaking into the back of the eye.

Virbai said: “I can’t read anymore or even see the food labels in the supermarket. I’ve even found getting the bus is a challenge because I can’t make out the number on the front of it.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part in the trial which will involve three injections in the eye of a drug called THR-149. It is early days but I am hopeful it will offer an improvement.”

Brent, Harrow and Ealing have some of the highest rates of diabetes in the UK and correspondingly have a higher than average number of patients with diabetic macular edema.