Eye For God
Bert Bowden, MD
Cosmetic and Reconstructive Eye Surgery

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Miracle of the Cornea
Dr. Bowden initially saw a young lady who had difficulties with her eyes as a result of a severe infection of the eyes. She was new in town and during the week when Dr. Bowden was on call, she noted particular problems of redness that had developed in her eyes. She was a contact lens wearer, and when she came in for evaluation, it was noted that she had a significant infection of one of the corneas. While this was significant, it was also noted by Dr. Bowden that she had changes in both corneas consistent with a defect known as Fuchs' dystrophy. This is a defect of the eyes that is always progressive and leads to loss of the cornea. It may be inherited. As a matter of fact, the patient noted that her sister did have Fuchs' dystrophy and had previously undergone corneal transplant. The need for a corneal transplant is typical in patients with Fuchs' dystrophy as the eye gets worse. The patient, of course, was very distraught at this news in addition to the infection that was present in her eyes.

She did relate that she had been recently having problems in her relationship with her husband and had been doing a lot of crying. She was very despondent and sought some kind of relief. Dr. Bowden spent quite a bit of time sharing with her and helped arrange for further care for her through a new pastor in town. He also prayed with her for healing of the eye.

On the next day, the patient returned having treated the eye overnight with simple medications. She did have a dramatic improvement in the eye but what was more important was that THE DEFECT THAT HAD BEEN PRESENT IN BOTH THE EYES WAS NOW COMPLETELY ABSENT IN BOTH THE EYES.

This cannot be explained by any other means other than Divine Intervention through prayer for this patient. We did ask for healing and not only did God give her the gift of healing of the temporary infection, but He gave her the gift of healing of the entire cornea.

Miracle of the Optic Nerve
A patient was brought for surgical treatment of a lesion on his optic nerve. It had the absolutely characteristic appearance of a meningioma of the optic nerve. These are very difficult to remove and most people frequently just leave them alone, but he was having loss of vision and was unable to see adequately. After extensive discussion with Dr. Bowden, the patient agreed to removal of this lesion. Typically, these are not malignant, but they can continue to grow and actually destroy the tissues and the orbit.

Dr. Bowden had actually performed a similar surgery, approximately two weeks prior to this, in which the optic nerve could not be salvaged, and the patient's vision was totally lost. This time, Dr. Bowden had more easy access to the patient's optic nerve, and once the optic nerve was identified, it was very clear a typical meningioma appeared to be present. This was removed and sent for the pathologist to look at the time of surgery to ensure that it was a meningioma. I have the absolute characteristic appearance of one, but whenever sent to pathologist, he reported that it was normal fibrous tissue. It was thought that this may be was too small lesion, and for this reason Dr. Bowden sent another specimen. This was guaranteed to be portion of the tissue. Again it returned as a normal tissue. At that point, Dr. Bowden realized that the patient's lesions have already been healed and _____ closed up the orbit. God healed this man's eye and allowed the optic nerve to be completely free. He remains completely asymptomatic, and the lesion that was clear present on x-rays is no longer present.

Miracle of the Orbital Mass
A patient was seen on one of Dr. Bowden's mission trips in Dominican Republic. The patient was a young lady who had developed a significant bulging of her eyes. She came to the hospital at Elias Santana in Dominican Republic for evaluation on one day when there were oculoplastic surgeons present. This lady had never been to the hospital before, but she did arrive fully anticipating care for and knowing that she would get adequate treatment.

She came and was evaluated by the residents who presented her case to Dr. Bowden. Also present was Dr. Harvey from Toronto. It was the only day in the history of the hospital at Elias Santana or in the history of the Dominican Republic that two oculoplastic surgeons had been in the country at the same time. This happened "by coincidence" on the day that the lady arrived. It was also another "coincidence" that the lady had been walking down the street one day when a radiologist saw her and said, "You've got a bulging eye. Come and let me take a CT scan of that."

The CT scan, of course, is crucial to evaluate the size and location of the tumor within the orbit. This was done by someone unknown to the patient and was done prior to the evaluation with Dr. Bowden. She brought this crucial test with her. The CT scan did show a definite, very large mass that was clearly wrapped around the optic nerve. It was causing her eye to bulge forward. It appeared to be totally wrapped around the optic nerve in such a manner that removal attempts would guarantee blindness. A simple removal of the tumor and the eye would, of course, also guarantee blindness. Both Dr. Bowden and Dr. Harvey agreed that neither of them would want to touch it.

However, the patient was insistent that we try. She stated that she had prayed about this and knew that there was care available for her, and that it would solve her problem. For this reason, knowing that it was not an "accident" that the lady arrived on the one day when two oculoplastic surgeons were there, and that she brought her CT scan with her, Dr. Bowden and Dr. Harvey agreed to proceed. They both did emphasize to the patient that the likelihood of success of the operation was minimal and that it was likely that she would be totally blind or unable to use her eye in any way.

Prior to the surgery, a pastor from the visiting American team of workers came and prayed with the patient, as did Dr. Bowden and Dr. Harvey. Specifically, they prayed for healing of this lesion and that our hands and eyes would be directed as we perform the surgery.

In the surgery, it was confirmed that the lesion was very large and an extensive removal of the muscles around the eye was required in order to get to the mass. As it was completely tied around the optic nerve, various attempts were being made to identify the location of the mass WHEN SUDDENLY IT SIMPLY FELL FROM THE ORBIT. THIS WAS DONE WITH ONLY A MINOR TOUCH OF DR. HARVEY'S FINGERS. We all stopped and realized that the Holy Spirit had actually delivered this tumor for us. It was completely freed with minimal other dissection of tissues. However, we were certain that there must have been some other damage to the eye and it was unlikely that she would see well with the eye, and it was quite likely that she would have double vision as a result of the removal of the muscles of the eye and with later replacement of them.

An evaluation of this did show this to be a neurofibroma of the orbit. Some neurofibromas may be easy to remove, but most of the neurofibromas are created from nerve tissue and are not easily removed without destroying the tissue to which they are attached. However, this neurofibroma definitely did "fall out of the orbit." The patient was seen the next day following surgery, and she did have a somewhat swollen eye, but six months later she had a totally normal eye that had returned to its proper position She had no double vision, and she saw perfectly from the eye. This clearly is a miracle that demonstrates God's care and grace for this woman. We did not trust our own hands to do this, but we knew that her faith was strong, and it was not an "accident" that she came in the manner what she did.

Miracle of the Orbital Tumor
A patient presented to Dr. Bowden having a very significant and grave diagnosis of malignant melanoma. He had previously had his eye removed because it had a malignant melanoma in it. Now this deadly cancer had spread to the orbit. The retina surgeon confirmed that this was an orbital spread of a retinal malignant melanoma. When Dr. Bowden saw him there were clear areas of dark-black pigment present on the eye and there was an MRI scan that clearly showed extensive involvement of the orbit with this tumor. An extensive discussion occurred with the patient as this is a very deadly disease and most people die within months of this diagnosis.

The patient, however, was very confident and an orbital exenteration was scheduled. This is a procedure that involves removal of all of the contents of the orbit and so all of the cancer was to be removed.

Prior to the actual surgery the patient, an elder in the Baptist Church, prayed along with his family and friends (approximately 15 people) for total healing of the malignant melanoma and that he would have no problems and heal well after the surgery.

The patient was taken to surgery and the tissue was removed and sent to the pathology lab.

The patient did well following the surgery, and healed well. Several days after the surgery, the pathologist called and asked, "So, Dr. Bowden, why did you send us this tissue." I replied, "The tissue was obviously full of tumor, there are many huge dark spots in it that and others saw. It also can be seen on MRI scan that there is recurred malignant melanoma within the orbit." They replied, "We found absolutely nothing."

What this means is that the tumor that had been present was completely cleared and eliminated sometime after the prayer. Although the patient had gone into surgery with the tumor, he left with it completely healed. Of course, this could just be explained away as inadequate pathology studies, but this has been carefully reviewed and no tumor has actually been found in the specimen. Additionally, the patient is now three and a half years after the surgery, and he should have been dead within months. Again, this clearly is demonstration of God's grace and healing in this situation.

Miracle of the Nail
The pictures below show a young man who was using a nail gun when it went off and went into his orbit, just above his eye. It also was long enough that it went into his brain. The pictures show an angiogram where the nail is only millimeters from the Carotid artery. Had this been pierced, he would have died.

The CT scan pictures show the exact placement along the medial wall of the orbit. It did not break any bone, but slid down the side of the bone, under and around the muscles, and through the superior orbital fissure, the furthest back part of the orbit. Notice that it missed muscles, the eye, the bone, the sinuses, and went through a very crowded area full of blood vessels and not one of them was injured.

Neurosurgery was performed to be sure the nail was not causing problems with the brain and to be able to control any bleeding when the nail was removed. The nail was found to be pushing against, but not piercing, the dura mater. The dura is the outside lining of the brain. If it is pierced, infections and many other serious problems can occur.

The movie shows the actual removal of the nail. It came out cleanly and caused no problems. He only ended up with a small hole in his eyelid. You will need Windows Media Player to view the movie.

This exact placement of the nail is not possible by human hands. A surgeon with the greatest skill could not possibly place such a large object there without causing injury. Had the nail gone one mm further in, one mm up, or one mm down, it would have caused permanent, non-fixable injuries and the patient could have died. As it was, he had a sore head and eye and returned to his job as a carpenter with no problems.

When confronted with this miracle, all he could say was, "Gloria Dios!" (Glory to God). Isn't our God great to protect this man?

See slide show.