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Our Stories

Our Stories

Kate’s story

“It’s really a gift to be able to see,”says 15-year-old Kate.

Baby Kate was only six weeks old when her parents Tracy and David received the devastating news that she had congenital cataracts. Kate had no sight in her left eye and only 20% in her right.

It was only a few weeks before that new first time mum Tracy suspected something was wrong “Kate was not making eye contact with me at all”. 

The surgery to remove her cataracts helped Kate to see. But, as is common with childhood cataracts, Kate then developed glaucoma due to fluid build up around her eye that could not drain away properly, causing an increase in pressure.

Since then, Kate’s life has revolved around surgeries, tests and treatments.

Kate is now 15 years old and her life looks different than other children growing up. She can’t go anywhere without her specially-made contact lenses and eye drops. She can’t play sports. Even simple childhood games, like doing cartwheels, are fraught with risk.

People don’t think of glaucoma as a disease that affects children. But nearly one in five children born with vision impairment have glaucoma. Even with surgery, around 70% of childhood glaucoma patients like Kate will have vision loss. Nearly half of all surgeries for children fail – requiring more surgical intervention.

Watch Kate’s story

Your gift today can ensure the vital equipment needed for successful surgical outcomes is made available, helping children with glaucoma keep their sight for longer.

PLEASE DONATE NOW

The Lions Eye Institute is developing a world-first imaging technology called optical coherence tomography (OCT) lymphangiography, which could significantly improve the success rate for glaucoma surgery in children.

“This technology can detect lymphatic vessels which are critical for draining fluid in the eye. Essentially it searches for fluid filled vessels and distinguishes those from blood vessels. It then calculates and builds a map showing the lympathic vessels, making glaucoma surgery less complex,” says Professor Bill Morgan.

Your gift today can ensure the vital equipment needed for successful surgical outcomes is made available, helping children with glaucoma keep their sight for longer.

With the vision Kate still has, she is determined to live life to the fullest. Kate’s very excited to be given the green light to get her driver’s licence on her next birthday and looking forward to studying forensic science when she finishes high school.

“Research is highly important. It gives you hope that things are changing for the better,” Tracy, Kate’s mum says.

Please donate today to help make the medical advances children with glaucoma desperately need.

Donations $2 and over are tax deductible.

Kate has been a patient of Professor Bill Morgan’s for many years.

With your support this festive season we can give children with glaucoma like Kate a better chance of avoiding vision loss and blindness. Please donate today.

PLEASE DONATE NOW

Need any help?

If you have questions regarding getting involved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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