Torborg, 55, proudly states "I've been to 48 states, all by car." The enjoyment he gains by seeing the world from the open road was put in jeopardy in 2004 when the software engineer was diagnosed with Fuchs Dystrophy. The condition damaged his cornea -- the transparent, front layer of the eye -- and caused progressive vision loss. “When I was diagnosed, doctors told me I should put off treatment for as long as possible because technology was changing so drastically,” he said.
Eight years later, Torborg’s vision was so foggy that his passion was at risk. “I was on the threshold of not being able to drive. At work I had to resort to cheats like hand-held magnifiers and bigger fonts on computer screens in order to cope,” he said. He turned to Duke corneal specialist Preeya Gupta, MD, for help.
Dr. Gupta recommended a partial cornea transplant for both eyes. “She gave me a best-case, worst-case scenario,” said Torborg. “If I did nothing, I would go blind. I was scared of having surgery, but my career and the thing I loved doing most depended on it.”