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Mother whose son nearly went blind as a baby raising money for eye charity

Mother whose son nearly went blind as a baby raising money for eye charity

Philip Dewey

Mother whose son nearly went blind as a baby raising money for eye charity
Fuchsia Helsby with sons Raffi Tendell (left), four, and Casper Tendell (right), two.

A mother from Windsor is aiming to raise money for a children's eye charity after her son nearly went blind as a baby.

Fuchsia Helsby, 33, of College Crescent is appealing for help to raise £25,000 for the Harley Street Eye Clinic charity, The Retinal Children's Fund.

She hopes the money will buy a machine that could prevent blindness in children for the Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Her son Raffi Tendell, four, nearly lost his eyesight after he was born four months premature in September 2010.

He was given oxygen but when doctors tried to wean him off it in December 2010 he was left at risk of retinal detachment.

Fuchsia said: "After three horrendous months we were told we would need a second opinion on his eyes as he was in danger of going blind.

"It was such a shock because we were having routine checks."

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Ahmed El-Amir, of Kind Edward VII Hospital, visited Raffi at home and told his mother and father, Adrian Tendell, 36, he needed laser eye treatment immediately otherwise he would go blind.

After three hours of treatment, Raffi was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, for further treatment using a Retcam, which is used to prevent blindness in premature babies.

After regular check ups with Mr El-Amir, Raffi's eyesight was saved but he will have to wear glasses for the rest of his life.

The mother-of two said: "The Retcam is something which helped to save our son's sight and if it wasn't for the quick actions of Mr El-Amir it would have been a different story.

"It would be great to raise some money and get one of these machines round our way."

Visit harleystreeteye.com/charity/ to make a donation.

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