Sir Harold Ridley and His Fight for Sight

A modern-day story that parallels the fictional development of Rearden Metal. First, they ridiculed Sir Harold Ridley, an ocular pathologist, for his revolutionary invention, an intraocular plastic lens to replace cataracts. Then they petitioned the FDA to outlaw his invention. Finally they accepted it.

Imagine this plot for a novel:

A brilliant eye surgeon performs a revolutionary operation in secret, implanting a new device, the intraocular lens, which replaces the cloudy cataract.

Word leaks out two years later, and the world’s most prominent ophthalmologist vilifies and ostracizes him. He suffers from depression, an outcast in his profession.

He and a handful of other doctors around the world toil in obscurity for three decades, performing a few hundred, and later, a few thousand surgeries a year, advancing the science.

By George Donnelly

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