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He couldn’t see for most of his life. However, Josef Kalous does not stop fighting to regain his sight. He is given hope by renowned surgeon Pavel Stodůlka and his unique surgery.

The well-known professional piano tuner Josef Kalous lost sight after an unfortunate accident at twelve. Unfortunately, his eye could not be saved despite a series of operations shortly after his accident.

To this day, he has undergone two dozen complex interventions, after which he could always see in one eye, at least briefly. But the damage spread so much over time that it was impossible to transplant his human corneas with the donor corneas. The only hope was a Boston-type artificial cornea transplant. World-renowned eye surgeon Pavel Stodůlka was the first in the Czech Republic to perform this extremely challenging operation in 2008. Since then, he has already transplanted artificial corneas to dozens of Czech and foreign patients.

Pavel Stodůlka also implanted this cornea in Mr. Kalous´ eyes for the first time in 2011. The operation went well beyond expectations. Although he could see almost immediately, he had to learn to reprocess his vision. The eye alone is not enough to see and understand the world around us. The brain plays an important role, which evaluates the image correctly. If people can’t see for decades, they must relearn this ability. But his restored sight lasted “only” two years. The ophthalmologists also consider this to be an excellent result. The risk that the patient will go blind again after a successful procedure is high. “Half the people with an artificial cornea will keep their eyesight for years. The other half will lose sight shortly after the operation,” explains Stodůlka in Forbes magazine. 

The last operation would bring him hope for improvement. But he refused to undergo it at first. He didn’t want to experience the feeling of his vision slowly fading away again like several times before. His growing grandchildren, with whom he wanted to share experiences to the fullest, gave him the impetus. In February, he entrusted himself again to the hands of Pavel Stodůlka. Even if the operation occurred without complications, it carries the above mentioned risks. Now the native of Děčín is starting to see again. He feels improvement every day. He currently recognizes color contrasts, light, and the color white. He can also read on a backlit phone. “Patients with such damaged vision are not expected to see perfectly, but to improve their vision on some level. Mr. Kalous managed to do that,” mentions Pavel Stodůlka, the founder of the network of Gemini Eye Clinics and, among other things, this year’s finalist of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition.


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