April 22, 2015

Jamie Baumann benefit

By Cheryl McCormack

Are you in the market for a hearty meal and a good laugh, all in the name of a good cause? Look no further than the Washburn Memorial Building this Saturday night, as the River Riders host a benefit for Washburn resident Jamie Baumann, the soon-to-be recipient of an eye transplant.

About 10 years ago, Baumann suffered a stroke and lost the peripheral vision in her right eye; right frontal vision remains.

Then, just recently, the unthinkable happened and a metal rod entered Baumann’s left eye, sending her to the hospital for emergency surgery.

A "global repair" was performed, which is the process of piecing the eye back together. During the surgery, Baumann’s lens and iris were pushed up into the corner of her eye. She lost all vision in her left eye due to the injury.

A retinal specialist said Baumann’s only hope of regaining any vision at all is to undergo an iris and lens transplant. She has been given the "go ahead" for an experimental (not FDA-approved) man-made eye transplant out of Germany. Since the transplant is "experimental" the family’s insurance will not cover the procedure’s costs.

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