The Charles Schepens Story
Charles Schepens was a famous ophthalmologist, born in Belgium on March 13, 1912.
Others often referred him to as “the father of modern retinal surgery” in his field due to the contributions he made. He was but one of the many medical scientists whose work helped make it possible to effectively Protect Your Eyesight in the modern day.
In 1935, Schepens got his medical degree from the State University of Ghent, after which he served in Brussels as Dr. L. Hambresin's assistant in 1937. He served as a captain in the Belgian Air Force's Medical Corps until May, when the Nazis invaded the country.
Charles Schepens then fled to France and became a part of the French Resistance. He was arrested multiple times by the Gestapo, and he acted under the alias of Jacques Pérot, a lumber mill operator in Mendive. With this as his cover, he worked as an intelligence gatherer and evacuated people from the country.
Eventually, the Germans learned of his operation and he decided to escape to England. When he arrived in London, he began working on retinal surgery and the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (a medical tool used to see inside the structures of the eye) at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
In 1947, he went to the United States and joined the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology and two years later he founded the first-ever Retina service in Massachusetts. Soon afterward, he also founded the Retina Foundation, which is now known as the Schepens Eye Research Institute.
Ophthalmology is a study pertaining to the health of the eyes. It's obviously a very important field of medicine and surgery, due to the fact that our eyesight is one of the most important senses we have. Ophthalmology has come a long way since its conception and continues to make more advances each day.
However, it will always owe its success to the doctors such as Allvar Gullstrand who helped pave the way for its development.
Charles Schepens didn't stop at developing the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope; he also designed various other instruments to aid in the field of eye treatment, such as microscissors developed for use in surgery on the vitreous humor. He also developed several other types of ophthalmoscope, along with various devices, which employed laser technology.
Charles Schepens pioneered the scleral buckle, a technique that can be used to fix retinal detachment by closing up the retinal break He is said to have raised the success rate of retinal surgery by 50% with the tools and methods he developed, and he wrote hundreds of research papers about his work, along with four books. One of his books is Schepens's Retinal Detachment and Allied Diseases.
Schepens has been considered one of the most influential ophthalmologists in the world, and he has won numerous awards for the advances he's made in the field of retinal surgery. He was recognized by the American Academy of Ophthalmology as one of their inaugural laureates in 2003, and even received the French Legion of Honor for his achievements as part of the resistance, having smuggled over 100 people to Spain.
Schepens lived until the age of 94, and died on March 28, 2006. His wife Marie, to whom he'd been married for 69 years, passed away two years later. They had a son, three daughters, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
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