Katy’s youngest son Harley was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of Juvenile Glaucoma unlike anything the ophthalmologist specialists throughout the Okanagan have seen before.
Just before Harley’s 7th birthday the symptoms began progressing quickly, with pressure building in both eyes, reduced vision in his left eye, and unable to get the pressure under control though medication. Consultations indicated that he could lose all sight in his left eye, with the right eye in danger of going through the same thing. Through repeated trips from Penticton to Kelowna for the Ophthalmologist they have been able to get the pressure level on his eyes reduced, however the adult blood pressure medication they are using to relieve the pressure is not a long-term solution. Katy and Shawn have had to receive the already devastating news that the vision loss in Harley`s left eye is irreversible, and the right eye is in danger if not treated quickly. Harley now has surgery scheduled at Surrey Memorial Hospital in the Vancouver area with Dr Gupta. Dr Gupta is one of only 3 surgeons in the province qualified to perform the procedure needed, and has Harley scheduled on an emergency basis. Dr Gupta will be consulting with Katy, Shawn, and Harley on Monday and going ahead with Surgery Tuesday with a plan to reduce the pressure on both eyes and save the sight in his right eye. The goniosurgery that Dr Gupta will perform can only do half of one eye at a time, so repeated surgeries will be needed over the next few months, and with that multiple trips to Vancouver.
I`m organizing this to help Katy and Shawn manage the ongoing travel and accommodation costs that will be needed in the coming months for treatment. The cost of travel already has been high, going back and forth between Penticton and Kelowna multiple times per week. They will have regular appointments with specialists in the Vancouver area over the next few months, and on this upcoming trip had to arrange and pay for accommodations for the whole family for 4 nights. We are hoping that Ronald McDonald house (which operates at the hospital site) is able to help for future appointments, but due to the short notice and small size of their facility they weren’t able to accommodate them this trip. This leaves Katy and Shawn now facing high travel and accommodation costs for such a large family for the next few months. We are hoping that we can ease the burden a bit by coming together to help them.