Debbie’s story: finding a new treatment for congenital glaucoma
13 December 2019
Debbie’s son Luí was treated at Moorfields for congenital glaucoma. To say thank you for saving her son’s sight, Debbie hosted a fundraising event in aid of Moorfields.
When Debbie and her husband noticed that their baby son Luí had one eye larger than the other, they were worried. They took him into their local hospital, where they discovered that he had congenital glaucoma.
What is congenital glaucoma?
Congenital glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that affects babies and children. Some people are born with it, while others develop it during childhood.
It is sometimes referred to as ‘paediatric’ or ‘juvenile’ glaucoma.
It occurs when high pressure damages the delicate nerve fibres in the optic nerve which carry signals from the eyes to the brain.
This high pressure is caused by having too much liquid inside the eyeball. It’s usually because the drainage channel inside the eye has not formed properly inside the womb, or because it has become blocked by inflammation inside the eye.
Congenital glaucoma is rare but it can cause young people to lose some of their eyesight.
1 in 20,000
About 1 in 20,000 children are born with glaucoma, or develop it in childhood
Most children and young people with congenital glaucoma need an eye operation and eye drops to bring the pressure inside their eye down and prevent sight loss.
Doctors told Louise and her husband that Luí would need surgery immediately. He was just 16 months’ old and Louise and Eamonn were scared, “We never fully understood the extent of his condition or how complex this disease was.”
5 in 100,000
Around 5 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with congenital glaucoma
Finding a solution
Unfortunately, Luí’s first operation didn’t work. Instead, he was prescribed with eye drops to reduce the pressure in his eye.
He struggled and fought every time we had to give him the never-ending eye drops. It was quite draining on him and the rest of the family.
After struggling with Luí’s treatment, the family came to Moorfields Eye Hospital looking for another solution.
Doctors at Moorfields decided to put a tube into Luí’s eye to drain away the fluid that was causing the build up of pressure.
The surgery went perfectly. Now Luí’s sight is good – he is happy, very sociable and has started school.
Saying thank you
To raise awareness of Lui’s condition, and to give something back, Louise hosted a Summer Ball at their home town in Newry, Northern Ireland. She donated the proceeds of the event to Moorfields Eye Charity.
We are the lucky ones and so grateful. Moorfields has provided excellent care and attention to Luí, and his doctor was amazing. He always has time to listen and answer any queries we have had.