Effort to save Shauna's sight gathers force

Padraig Byrne

Published 05/11/2013 | 05:42

Wexford Lions Club are hoping to raise a considerable amount of money to help save the sight of a girl who is going blind.

Wexford Lions Club are hoping to raise a considerable amount of money to help save the sight of a girl who is going blind.

Shauna, a 12-year-old who attends the Faythe School, suffers from a degenerative condition which means that she is completely blind in one eye and has just 30% vision in the other. Having attended hospitals all over the country, her diagnosis was not good and doctors feared that she would eventually be completely blind.

However, after some initial fundraising, Shauna travelled to London with her mum Emily where she saw specialists at Moorefield Eye Hospital who have given her some hope of retaining her sight.

'Shauna had her first assessment at Moorefield about six weeks ago,' said Emily. 'That was completely as a result of the support of Wexford Lions Club, who have been great to us.

'Over there, the doctors told us that basically the cells in her eye are dying. The course of action they suggested is stem cell treatment, which has been very successful in other cases in the past. They are fairly confident that they will be able to restore her eyesight with this procedure.'

On a day-to-day basis, Shauna is managing quite well despite difficulties with her sight. 'She's a typical child – she just takes it all in her stride,' said Emily.

'It is getting more difficult for her however. The staff at the Faythe school have been great with her and have made lots of adjustments to suit her. She's quite excited about the procedure now and is hoping it will be a success.' The Lions Club are hoping to carry out a number of fundraisers in order to help pay for Shauna's treatment. 'The procedure happens on a step by step basis,' said Emily. 'But in total it could cost over €20,000, which sounds like a lot, but it's a small price to pay for her to be able to see.

'Everyone at the Lions club has been really great and they have already done a lot for us.'

As part of the fundraising, the Lions club will host a table quiz at Wexford Golf Club on Friday night at 8 p.m. There will be questions on every topic imaginable and it is expected to be a great night that will hopefully go a long way towards helping Shauna's cause.

Wexford People

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