Saliva Gland Helps Dry Eyes Video

This health video is looking at the link of saliva glands helping dry eyes.
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Jennifer Mathews: Roger Beck's son Denton fills just one half of his dad's heart. Twin sister Anna has her hands around the other half. Roger Beck: They're a handful, they're exciting. They're fun to learn with. Jennifer Mathews: But Roger has never seen his kids. For most of his 29 years, he's been fighting a disease that attacks his skin and mucous membranes. The eye he has left is so damaged; he only sees basic shapes and doesn't produce tears at all. Roger Beck: It's like a piece of sandpaper there just scratching it, scarring it. Jennifer Mathews: Moisture in his eyes could relieve the pain and also offer a chance at sight-restoring surgery, which won't work on dry eyes. To give Roger a chance at a life with sight, Dr. Randal Paniello transplanted one of Roger's saliva glands to his temple. Dr. Randal Paniello: We then made a small incision in the lining of the eye and attached the duct so that the secretions would spill out onto the surface of the eye. Jennifer Mathews: Here, you see the saliva glands on the left side of Roger's face. Dr. Randal Paniello: On the right side, this stuff is missing because it's up here. As soon as we got the artery and vein connected and let them flow, we saw saliva coming down that little duct. So we knew it was going to work right then. Jennifer Mathews: Roger is now a candidate for surgery that could restore his vision. His mom has been waiting for that news for most of Roger's life. Rhonda Huffman: It was the last hope. It was like a miracle from God, right when we needed it." Roger Beck: There's some mornings I wake up, and I have tears rolling down my face. I thank God I can cry. Jennifer Mathews: This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.

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