My Hero Media Award

A show about hope and making impossible dreams come true.

Todd Heritage had been blind for 22 years. An allergic reaction to penicillin in his childhood left his corneas severely scarred.

His other senses were highly developed, and Todd was fully able to work as a nurses assistant in Kent, Ohio. His friends and family had always been completely supportive of him, but Todd still wanted to see the faces of his wife and children.

Todd's story caught the attention of a tv show called "The Miracle Workers." This show, created by David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe of Renegade 83 Entertainment, teamed expert doctors with patients who needed the right resources for their treatment. Dr. Holland, an opthalmologist, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati and director of Cornea Services at the Cincinnati Eye Institute, was brought on-board to examine Todd's case.

Dr. Holland proposed a revolutionary two-part operation, where he would extract stem cells from a live donor and combine them with corneal stem cells from a cadaver's eye. He would then insert them into Todd's damaged eye.

Todd's sister, Celeste, volunteered to be the donor. She underwent a surgery to extract stem cells from her eye in a very risky operation in which she could have possibly lost her eyesight. Celeste's bravery was rewarded when the operation went successfully, and the stem cells were implanted into Todd's eye.

However, despite the success of both operations, Todd's cornea was too damaged to allow him to see. Everyone felt the shock and disappointment of the failed operation, but Dr. Holland had another idea: a full corneal transplant.

This time, when the bandages were removed, Todd was finally able to see the faces of his wife and children. After 22 years, Todd could see his family and friends. Todd said, upon seeing his wife for the first time, that she was more beautiful that he could have ever imagined.

Many people have benefited from the resources that "Miracle Workers" provided. The show offered solutions to impossible problems, and gave hope and inspiration to those who had a lower quality of life due to their physical obstacles.

"Miracle Workers" was created by Renegade 83, executive-produced by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (co-heads of DreamWorks Television), and David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe from Renegade 83 Entertainment. Scott Jeffress was co-executive producer.

Page created on 9/23/2006 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/23/2006 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The My Hero web page about Dr. Holland - Learn more about Todd's opthalmologist
The My Hero Media Award - Watch excerpts from ABC's show "The Miracle Workers" featuring Dr. Holland and Todd Heritage
The Cincinnati Eye Institute - The clinic where Dr. Holland works
The ABC Miracle Workers webpage - The official homepage for the television show