ELEVEN-year-old Paula Cotton of East Ruimveldt, who underwent vireto - retinal surgery in Trinidad & Tobago last April is due to return to the twin-island republic for phase II of her surgery in October.
The upcoming surgery entails ‘Cataract removal + (Intraocular Lens) IOL-insertion and removal of the silicone oil previously inserted.
Following the surgery performed by Dr. Ronnie Bhola, in Trinidad, Paula has seen considerable improvement, and her vision in the left eye is much improved, so much so, she is now able to see and read coarse prints.
Successful completion of the next phase of surgery will allow her to read fine prints. Paula, whose dream is still to become a lawyer, is praying that things will work out for her so that her dream could be realised.
Paula, who had been completely blind in her right eye since the age of seven, was last January, reviewed by Dr. Shailendra Sugrim in Guyana, who determined that she had lost vision in that eye, as a result of a complicated cataract. He diagnosed that her vision in the left eye had degenerated, leaving her with blurriness in the left eye, so that she was unable to read or see well in that eye.
Paula was recommended for vireto-retinal surgery, to be performed by Dr. Ronnie Bhola, at the Community Hospital of Seventh Day Adventists, St. James, Trinidad.
With a major financial contribution from the Ministry of Health; Guyana’s ‘United Women for Special Children’ and other generous humanitarian donations from other persons and organisations in Guyana, the child was able to travel to Trinidad for the surgery.
The initial surgery performed earlier this year, her father Paul Cotton explained, was virectomy – a very technical operation to remove clouding and remove scar tissue off the light-sensitive lining of the eye and the insertion of silicone oil to hold the retina in place.
That procedure having been completed, Paula returned to Guyana in May, with the understanding that a second operation is to be within a few months.
Last week a quotation was received for the upcoming surgery which, on this occasion entails ‘cataract removal + (Intraocular Lens) IOL insertion and removal of the silicone oil previously inserted. Following the first surgery performed, Paula has seen considerable improvement, and her vision in the left eye is much improved, so that she is now able to see read coarse prints.
.However, because the family is financially challenged, Paula and her father, Paul Cotton are again making a public appeal, for financial assistance from civic-minded persons to help her raise the much needed funds.
The cost of the surgical procedure, drugs and other hospital incidentals is US$2,000, half of which the Ministry of Health has undertaken to provide.
The Cotton family is therefore required to find the other US$1,000, plus air fares for two; as well as hotel accommodation and meals.
The child’s father is himself visually impaired and is unable to make a financial contribution. The elder Cotton has a history of enucleation to the right eye, and aphakia to the left eye, with retinal degeneration among other things. Though not completely blind, Paul Cottom suffers serious visual impairment. Nevertheless, like a good father, he continues to be at his daughter’s side every step of the way, as they seek to raise funds and put other systems in place for her to have this final surgery.
Persons or organisations wishing to make donations are kindly asked to deposit such monies into Republic Bank Account 244-4065.
The family would like once more, to thank those persons who helped in the past, and to extend a call once more, to those who find it in their hearts to support this worthy cause.