Mia’s Story

(child, unilateral cataract)

Hi there Mums, Dads and friends…

I had my beautiful daughter Mia in 2006 and unfortunately she was born with a unilateral cataract. I am not great with the terminology of the lens name but think it might be called an intraocular lens? Anyway I don’t know about any of you but this was a very worrying time.

Mia was my first and the doctors found the problem when she was just 2 days old. None of the midwives knew anything about cataracts in children which is understandable but the doctor who initially found it was terrible as she said ‘there may be a problem’ and disappeared for over an hour and no one could tell me what was going on. As you can imagine every possibility was racing through my mind until eventually she arrived back to tell me that we would have to see a specialist doctor cause there was a problem with her eye. Still not explaining any more!! But anyway this was Friday and the doctor couldn’t see us until Monday so as you can imagine it was the longest weekend of our life.

Monday came and we met the specialist and we could not have asked for a more compassionate and understanding doctor, who was sympathetic and told us everything we needed to know and was not worried about any number of questions we wanted to ask. He then referred us to Mia’s actual surgeon who we owe everything to. He, again, was so friendly and reassuring that she would be fine and that he would do everything he could to help. At 4 weeks old she had her surgery to remove it and an implant put in. It was 2 hour surgery and when she came out all we wanted to do was cuddle her and never let go. She was absolutely fine, the surgery went well. We were amazed that there was no bruising and you could hardly see where they had cut. The eye drops we had to do afterwards where like a military operation we had to write everything down to make it easier to remember what had been done and when. But I can say it was well worth it!!!

Mia had contact lenses and glasses from about ten weeks old because she was born with astigmatism as well. Which I believe children are normally born with but it can disappear over time, but as she was being treated for her cataract so she was able to be treated for the astigmatism at the same time otherwise it may not have been picked up until the routine eye check at 3 years. She no longer has her contact lenses and just has her glasses. We patch her good eye every day and her eyes get better and better. We only have to see her today to see how well she has done, that every little bit of it was worth it. She now is classed as having normal eyesight so our thanks go out to the initial doctor and to her surgeon and everyone at the ophthalmology department who have either helped or seen her throughout her journey. I am very pleased to say that she is a very happy and content little monster today. Latest news is that she has her first pair of metal rim bifocals on order. She is growing so fast. She looked like a real grown up when she tried them on, not just 22 months.