Helping Tahlea kick Kerataconus

Tahlea was your average 10 year old girl, maybe those of you know her would say that she was not average as she was always the child that had to be the entertainer and never lacked confidence and always kept everyone around her laughing and smiling (except at times mum(Nicole) and Dad(Mort).

On the 28th January Tahlea was diagonosed with Advanced Kerataconus in both eyes. A word that none of us had ever heard of and one that will have an impact on Tahlea throughout life.

Kerataconus (KC) is a thinning of the central zone of the cornea as this progresses, normal eye pressure causes the round shape of the cornea to distort and a cone like bulge develops, resultin in signigicant visual impairment. KC usually progreses signifiantly during the years of puberty unfortuantly Tahleas has developed and progressed at a much earlier age and will only detoriate throughout puberty. 
Tahleas left eye has detoriated rapidly and her vision is impaired dramatically. Her right eye has also developed KC but fortunatly has not detoriated as quickly but is still in the advanced stage of KC.

After seeing a number of speciailists it has been recommended that Tahlea have  Corneal Cross Linking (CXL) done in both her eyes to preserve what vision she has left and stop the disease progressing during the stages of puberty. After Tahlea has completed puberty and the disease has stopped progressing cornea transplants will be ncesscary.

CXL has remarkable success in halting KC from progressing however it is not a cure and therefore our Government has not seen it necessary to fund it Medicare does not even have an item number for this procedure and private health does not cover the procedure either.

Due to Tahleas young age it has been decided that Tahlea should be put under anesthetic to undergo the procedure which incurs further costs. Tahleas surgery will take place in the Sydney Eye Hospital.  

After Tahlea has had both surgeries done she will be then fitted for special contact lenses to help improve her vision and these lenses alone cost a small fortune.

Surgery alone has been costed to be around the 15K and this is without the lenses and all follow up consultation costs. On top of this will be the added expenses of accomodation whilst Tahlea recovers from her surgery as she has to be close to the specialists in the first few days for routine check ups.

For those of you who know Tahlea know that she is one of a kind and is a very determined and spirited character and this diagnoses has not deterred her in the slightest. This is why the doctors feel that she will handle these procedures and all the follow up testing and fitting of special lenses with out any trouble what so ever.

As you can imagine not only the shock of the diagnoses but also finding out that the treatment required is not covered and will have to be self funded has been a major stress on Tahleas family Nicole and Mort have both adopted the attitude though that whatever it takes it will happen,

We thank you in advance for your support and believe even the smallest donation will help Tahlea and her family to be able to focus on getting Tahlea the treatment she needs and not having to worry about the financial strains.


James Ramplin
Belmont NSW

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