Prof William Ayliffe FRCS PhD addressed a well attended meeting of the Society on 6th November
He is not only one of the most experienced ophthalmologists in the world, but he showed a remarkable depth of knowledge of sculpture and painting over the past 2,000 years in which blind people have been depicted. These were illustrated in a large number of slides.
Soon after starting Medical School, it became apparent that his skills with a microscope and his passion about all things visual were only going to fulfilled as an Eye Surgeon. After a satisfying and demanding apprenticeship with the most famous surgeons in Europe and the U.S.A he returned to the UK as a consultant for the NHS.
He has performed many thousands of successful operations to restore sight, and was a pioneer in micro-incision surgery using sub 2mm incisions and the use of realistic iris prosthetic implants for badly damaged eyes. He also treats a variety of other blinding conditions, including corneal disease needing transplants, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Professor Ayliffe is Emeritus Professor at Gresham College, Honorary Professor at City University and a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Lister and London Bridge Hospitals in London. As well as being a busy practising clinician and teacher, he carries out clinical research into the prevention of blindness.
In answer to a question he said that in Biblical times it was possible to cure certain kinds of blindness without divine intervention.