Sarah is an adventurous 35-year-old married mum of two. She has recently been diagnosed with myopic macular degeneration, a complication of severe myopia (short-sightedness). As a result, she could become legally blind within 10 years.
Listen to Sarah’s heartbreaking story in this video, and read more of her story below.
After waking up one morning in May 2020, Sarah realised something was wrong with her eye sight. Looking at her blurry phone alarm, Sarah just thought she was tired. But after washing her face, and taking a second look, she realised she couldn’t see part of her phone.
Sarah saw no improvement over the coming weeks, so she visited Dr Hessom Razavi, an ophthalmologist and retinal specialist from the Lions Eye Institute. Dr Razavi gave Sarah news she was not expecting. She was told the cells in her retina are dying, and there is no current treatment available.
“The first thing I did after my diagnosis in May, and I still cry when I think about it, was go home and look at my children’s faces. I still do it and the kids say ‘what are you looking at mum?’. I’m consciously making visual memories. My eyesight may be going away, but no one can take my memories away from me”, Sarah said.
There is a possibility that one day soon, Sarah will not be able to see the beautiful blue eyes of the children she loves so much. The family loves the outdoors, and their days of motorbike riding and camping will become a struggle if Sarah loses her vision.
The Lions Eye Institute is currently conducting a study called the WA-ATOM (WA-Atropine Treatment on Myopia) trial. This trial aims to test if low-dose eye drops of atropine can slow the progression of myopia in children before it develops into a severe form. Severe myopia can lead to conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinal detachments later in life.
Research is so important, and myopia in our children is growing rapidly. You can help us prevent conditions like Sarah’s from developing by donating to our pioneering research today.