Sarah is a 13 year old girl from Coffs Harbour who first came to the Sydney Eye Hospital when she was 12 years old.

She was born with a large eye turn which worsened as she grew older and had seen an eye specialist close to home. Surgery was recommended to correct her eye turn, however, due to financial pressures this was not a possibility.

When Sarah started high school, she was bullied because of her eye turn. She was later diagnosed with depression as a result of the bullying she was subjected to.

Sarah’s mother was desperate to be able to do something to help her daughter. A friend of hers recommended that she contact the Sydney Eye Hospital to see if they could help.

After receiving the referral from Sarah’s family doctor, Sarah was given an appointment at our paediatric and strabismus ophthalmology clinic. Sarah’s mother was thrilled to hear that not only would she have the opportunity to have Sarah seen at the Sydney Eye Hospital, but also if surgery was recommended, it would be at no cost to her.

In January 2016, Sarah and her mother came for their first visit to the Sydney Eye Hospital. At the appointment, Orthoptists assessed Sarah’s eyes to help determine the type of eye turn Sarah had, the range of movement of her eye muscles, and whether her eyes were able to work together.

“Sarah’s eye condition was having a significant impact on her wellbeing and recommended that surgery was an ideal option.”

Following her assessment with the Orthoptist, Sarah was then seen by Dr Michael Jones. He recognised that Sarah’s eye condition was having a significant impact on her wellbeing and recommended that surgery was an ideal option for her at this point in time.

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Within 6 months of her first appointment at the Sydney Eye Hospital, Sarah had eye surgery to straighten her eyes.

Ten days following her operation, Sarah and her mother returned for review so the Orthoptists could assess the positioning of her eyes post-surgery.

“Sarah’s mother shed tears of joy when she saw the smile on her daughter’s face with her eyes now straightened.”

Sarah and her mother were extremely happy with the outcome, with Sarah’s eye turn almost completely straightened. Following her surgery, it was clear to see the impact this had on Sarah’s general wellbeing. She was visibly happier, constantly chatting and smiling, and engaging with others.

Sarah’s mother shed tears of joy when she saw the smile on her daughter’s face with her eyes now straightened. When Sarah attends the Sydney Eye Hospital for eye reviews, she now enjoys sharing stories with the Orthoptists explaining how she now feels confident to stand up to the people that used to bully her.

Sarah will be returning to the Sydney Eye Hospital for her next review in a two months’ time and we are looking forward to hearing of her progress. (Name has been changed to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality)