Julie and Gerhard

Gerhard has lattice dystrophy which affects the cornea, the window at the front of the eye. His cornea keeps frosting over and the only way to fix this is with a cornea transplant every few years.

“It’s a genetic problem. It’s in both eyes and it keeps growing back, even after a transplant,” says Gerhard.

“My father had the same condition. I went to visit him one time and I walked up to him, and he said, ‘Who’s that?’ His vision was so bad he couldn’t see his own son.”

Gerhard has been to Sydney Eye Hospital many times over the years. His doctor is Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation Board Director, Professor Gerard Sutton. As well as performing intricate eye surgery, Professor Sutton is also leading world-first research into the bioengineering of a cornea in the lab.

“Ultimately, we want to build an entire cornea within the laboratory,”

says Professor Sutton.

“For people like Gerhard waiting for a corneal transplant, it means that, first, you could get the transplant anytime you wanted rather than wait for a donated cornea, and, secondly, you could potentially manufacture it so that it was actually better than a donated cornea.”

Research like this won’t only change Gerhard’s life. It has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people across the world by giving them the gift of sight.

Corneal disease is the third most common cause of blindness in the world. An estimated 10 million people are waiting for corneal transplant at the moment, but there aren’t enough donated corneas. A bioengineered cornea will change that.

World class hospitals like Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital build a reputation by their ability to translate their research into treatment and potential cures for the thousands of patients who rely on the specialist expertise each year.

And as Australia’s first hospital, it has a long history of sharing and extending our knowledge globally. Our strong track record in collaboration and supporting sight-saving research can be largely attributed to the founding of the Foundation, the hospital’s dedicated charity, forty years ago.

In that time, with the generous support of a caring community, the Foundation has given more than $20 million to projects benefiting people, programs, equipment and research.

When people donate to the Foundation for research, they are effectively investing not just in their own eye health but that of their children and grandchildren.

Your donations will help to fund this sight-saving research.





Love Your Eyes

October 14 is World Sight Day, co-ordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation is proud to promote this international day of awareness, to focus attention on the global issue of eye health by providing eye health tips. This year’s campaign message is simple, it’s time to love your eyes!

To #LoveYourEyes find out what you need to do to prevent sight loss, and to protect, preserve and prioritise vision.

We’ve asked some of our leading ophthalmology specialists for a few simple things you can do yourself to prevent developing serious eye issues; take screen breaks, spend time outside, and get an eye test.

Clinical A/Professor Andrew Chang, vitreoretinal surgeon and Head of Ophthalmology at Sydney Eye Hospital, advises issues can be prevented by eating well, especially if you have diabetes and macular degeneration.

“Many eye diseases can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is all about eating healthy and adopting healthy habits. Eat green leafy vegetables, spinach, eggs and orange vegetables, foods rich in Vitamin C and E, like oranges, lemons, tomatoes and strawberries; almonds, avocados and sunflower seeds.”

While leading a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent several eye diseases it is equally important to protect and take care of your eyes.

“A healthy workplace is important for your eyes too. If you are among those where work exposes you to chemicals, radiation, flying particles, and excessive heat, you must use protective eyewear,” advised A/Professor Matthew Simunovic, surgeon and Head of the Foundation’s Research Committee.

“Importantly we’ve been spending so much time on our screens during the COVID-19 pandemic and we should use World Sight Day to remind ourselves to get up, go outside and take a break from our screens.”

It’s time to #LoveYourEyes and start new habits. Eat well, take screen breaks, get outside, and get an eye test.

For more tips speak to your doctor, follow @IAPB and read more here.

Prof Billson

As we celebrate forty years since the Foundation was established in 1981 we recognise those who have dedicated time and expertise to Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation supporting thousands of staff and patients relying on our specialist eye hospital.

Donor Impact 2020 - $745,256 in grants

Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation are proud that we have been able to award $745,256 in grants to 31 December 2020 benefiting 70,000 patients and…

Maxine and Isla

Maxine McDowell admits she is extremely lucky. “How can a person have so many eye challenges yet be able to see as well, or better, than many of my age?”

Dr Tun Hang Yeo

Meet they Sydney Eye Hospital Foundations Fellows for 2020. Supporting Sydney Eye Hospital in this extremely difficult year during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Linda Boney

This year’s NAIDOC theme is Heal Country, and in recognising this Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation is proud to announce a funding grant of $12,500 in 2021 to contribute to closing the gap in eye health to improve vision outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Sharn Dowsett (Manager, Clinical Governance & Quality – NSW OTDS) Danielle Fisher (General Manager – NSW OTDS), Professor Gerard Sutton, Amy Deller (Manager, Clinical Govern

All Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation donors should feel a huge degree of satisfaction over the Federal Government grant of almost $1 million last month to ground-breaking research in the battle against corneal disease and blindness.

Jatbula Trek

Jatbula has a short trekking season and limited number of permits, the demands are high. Featuring magnificent waterfalls tumbling from high quartzite cliffs and stunning Jawoyn Aboriginal Rock art. This bushwalk traverses the heart of this amazing part of Australia.  You will have opportunities to swim and just relax in the warm croc-free waters.

Prof Grigg and Roshni at Sydney Eye Hospital

We are in a race against time before sight loss becomes a major public health issue in Australia. Your donation today will help fund a new special 3D microscope and training to save the sight of more people like Roshni.