Please help our baby see.

When our daughter Irene was 6 days old, our doctor noticed there was something different with her left eye. It had no red reflex. She was referred to a local ophthalmologist, who was unable to do any paediatric cases. He referred Irene to Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital in Brisbane. This was the start of us needing to travel hours very regularly to get Irene the help she needs. Irene has been diagnosed with a congenital cataract in her left eye. She has years of patching and contacts, future surgeries and many many trips to Lady Cilento. She had surgery to remove the cateract on the 4th of December 2017. A procedure that was ment to take an hour and a half, took well over two hours. Inside Irenes eye there is atrophy. Her eye had not developed properly before she was born, and is incredibly fragile inside. During the operation there were some complications, where her iris was substantially damaged. Overall though the surgeon deemed the cateract removal a success and we were sent back home to Toowoomba on the 5th. Late on the 6th I noticed that Irenes iris was full of blood. We went to the local hospital to be told to drive straight through to Lady Cilento. We got to the hospital after midnight and Irene was seen to straight away. She has a hyphema in her eye. Due to the damage done to her iris during surgery. The blood in her eye is blocking her vision. Her doctor is concerned as blocking her vision in that eye for any ammount of time will cause the eye to not develop with her other eye. She could stay blind in that eye. He is monitoring her closely and has put her on the surgical list for the 13th to fix the bleed in her eye. This means he wants Irene to stay in Brisbane until the 14th at least. Irene has two amazing brothers whos lives are all over the place currently, with Mummy away constantly. My husband is away from work without income watching our boys while I'm in Brisbane with Irene. This is our 5th trip to brisbane since our 11week old daughter was born. Each time has been at least one nights accommodation for myself, Irene and my mother who is here to support us. The petrol expenses, food for us espically as Irene is exclusively breastfed, I need to make sure I eat well so I keep my milk supply for Irene. This last time we had no notice before the emergency trip to Brisbane. We have had to buy extra nappies, clothes etc for myself and Irene as we are not able to get home for awhile. This time of year, everyone knows how tight money can be. My family certianly did not think to budget for this during my pregnancy. Please if you could find it in your hearts to help my little family out. We would be beyond grateful. I never thought I would find myself in a position like this, asking others to help like this, I will do whatever I can to make sure our baby girl gets everything she needs to have the best chance for sight. Thank you for reading my story and I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Love Amy Toombs Update: Irene is nearly one, we are still fighting everyday to make sure this little princess gets the best chance at vision. We are still going backwards and forwards to Brisbane on a regular basis. We often take our other children with us, so we don't burden family for babysitting. The last 12 months have sure been interesting, but Irene is certainly worth it.      
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Organizer

Amy Toombs 
Organizer
Charlton QLD
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