– successful surgery done in Trinidad
By: Davina Ramdass
Visually impaired father Paul Cottom is now over whelmed with joy since he has been able to save his daughter’s sight.
After months of suspense, Paul Cottom was able to raise just enough funds to have his 16-year old daughter, Paula Cottom sent to Trinidad to facilitate an eye-surgery that she needed to save her vision.
sYesterday Cottom said himself, Paula and another daughter of his, left Guyana for Trinidad on September 28, since the operation was scheduled for the following Saturday, at the Brian Lara Cancer Treatment Centre in Port-of-Spain.
He said the operation took approximately five hours and that it seemed like the longest five hours of his life.
Cottom added that it was successful in removing the substance from her eye and also inserting a “valve” which will control the pressure of the fluid inside of the affected left eye. He was able to take his daughter home.
Paula Cottom and her dad returned to Guyana on October 18, last. She has since been wearing shades to protect her eyes from the sun and is expected to visit an ophthalmologist today. Her dad said she is likely to wear glasses and restart school next Monday at St. Rose’s High School, Unit for the Blind. She also attends the Visually Impaired Resource Unit on Albert Street, Alberttown.
In response to a question, Mr. Cottom said his daughter has been doing “fairly well” and continues to add eye drops to help her to recover better from the surgery.
Yesterday the man said he wishes to thank all those who helped him to make his dream come true for his daughter, especially the media, which highlighted the need of her surgery.
He further thanked God and those who were praying for the ‘miracle’ along with the government of Guyana and the many businesses and individuals from Guyana and overseas that made the operation possible.
His daughter was previously diagnosed with “Right Eye – Absolute Eye with Complicated Cataract and Left Eye – Interior Retinal Detachment with macular involved and Developmental Cataract.” She underwent a Left Vitreo-retinal surgery in Trinidad and her cataract was removed, leaving her without the lens of that eye, in 2012.
However, a visit to the doctor several months after displayed that her Intraocular pressure (IOP), which is the fluid pressure inside the eye, kept climbing despite her being on maximum medical treatment.
It was here that Doctor Sugrim recommended further vitreo-retinal evaluation for vitrectomy (the surgical operation of removing the vitreous humour from the eyeball) and implantation of glaucoma valve in the middle layer of the three layers that comprise the eye. He noted that these services are not available in Guyana and would have to be sought overseas.
Paul Cottom was disheartened when he heard about his daughter’s condition. However, he did not lose his faith since according to him his daughter was not born with a problem in her eyes but it developed over time. He explained that due to a build-up of pressure in a vein behind the left eye, the vessel burst, causing retinal detachment.
The irregular condition prompted her dad to immediately begin seeking help since he manages his expenses from public assistance which is $7,500 a month.
The former underwent a cataract surgery and a nerve was accidentally damaged in his left eye.
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