Keeler Scholarship Winner Receives Unusual Referral
Keeler Scholarship winner Rob Henderson received an unusual referral while undertaking a clinical fellowship at the Royal Victorian Ear & Eye Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. As the specialist on call, he was contacted by vets at the local zoo in Melbourne and asked to perform an eye examination on one of their gorillas which had recently been transferred from another zoo and was undergoing a full health check to make sure he was in tiptop condition.
Rob performed an eye examination on a 500lb silverback gorilla, after he was anaesthetised by a human anaesthetist.
“It was a magical experience. In many ways it was just like a regular patient though finding a vein was apparently extremely hard since they are buried deeply under thick skin. The keepers made sure everyone knew where the exits were in case he woke up! Once he was laid out it was remarkable just how big he really was, his head was massive, though his face interestingly was much smaller. His eyes were virtually identical to a human eye, the retina only differing by the relatively youthful appearance of the nerve fibre layer.”
Fortunately there appeared to be little wrong with the silverback’s eyes. He is now doing well in his new enclosure.
Rob will complete his fellowship in Australia in August and is set to return to the UK where he will begin his final fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Rob Henderson examines the silverback gorilla with a Keeler Spectra Indirect