A blind County Durham man is to be the first in the UK to have groundbreaking surgery on the NHS in the hope of saving his eyesight.
At just three months old, Jake Ternent was diagnosed with leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare inherited retinal condition caused by defects in one of a number of different genes.
This caused him to lose his sight and he was later referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London where he has helped experts' research into finding a way to recover eyesight.
LCA has previously been untreatable, but doctors have now revealed Jake will be the first person in the country to receive pioneering treatment on the NHS.
The Newcastle United season ticket holder will travel down next week for the operation which is to take place on Thursday.
The gene therapy hopes to restore aspects of vision using a harmless virus to replace and correct the defect.
The family had been told the surgery would cost £250,000 in America if Jake couldn't receive the treatment for free on the NHS.
Jake's mum Diane, 53, admits she was speechless when receiving the phone call telling her the vital news which could transform her son's life.
Jake is hoping the operation will prove successful not only for himself, but will be the launchpad to helping other people with his rare condition in the future.
After the operation Jake will be required to attend weekly follow-up appointments at Moorfields Eye Hospital - an expensive process for the family who live in Ludworth, County Durham.
Diane has set up a Gofundme page to help pay for travel and accommodation in London to ensure Jake doesn't miss out on a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity.