Ian's sight remained fine for the first few years but then he began to suffer recurrent problems. Eventually, in 1998, he lost the sight in his right eye and had to stop working. A year later he lost the vision in his left eye too.
Ian has now been able to see his kids for the first time, thanks to a revolutionary procedure,the 'Mirror' reported.
During the technique osteo-odonto-keratoprosthsesis, one of Ian's front teeth and a part of jaw was removed and used as a lens holder in his right eye.
"It was an incredible moment - I never thought I would ever be able to see my own children," said Ian.
The revolutionary tooth transplant, carried out by Professor Christopher Liu at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton, began when one of Ian's teeth was removed and it acted as a cradle for a false lens.
The tooth was then inserted into his cheek for three months to enable it to grow new tissue and blood vessels.
The doctors then inserted the tooth, complete with the fitted lens into Ian's right eyeball.
Within weeks of the final operation, his sight returned.