Eight-year-old Sam has become a beacon of hope for people at risk of blindness. He was diagnosed after birth with a genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, a form of Genetic retinal degeneration.
The gene therapy, which goes by the brand name Luxturna, was developed in the U.S by the drug company Spark Therapeutics.
It works by placing a copy of the healthy gene into inactivated viruses, which are then injected into the retina. The gene then allows cells to produce the necessary protein to convert light into an electrical signal in the retina to provide healthy vision and prevent a progression of the disease.
Sam is the first Canadian to be treated with gene replacement therapy for a rare form of blindness which had left him unable to function as a regular kid.
With the approval of this gene therapy in Canada, doctors are hoping to be able to use it on more patients who qualify.