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Full steam ahead post surgery

June 9, 2017

Seven-year-old Isaac loves trains and planes, bouncing on the trampoline and computer games. He dreams of one day becoming a commercial pilot, or perhaps a paramedic, so he can help people.

Until last year one of his bright blue eyes was noticeably turned out. Isaac also has autism and while he was doing well at school, his mum Kath was aware other children were likely to point out differences – like a turned eye. She was keen to book in squint surgery to straighten his eyes.

With private surgery prohibitively expensive, the family was grateful when they were booked in for surgery at the Eye and Ear within just a few months of referral.

Kath says the hospital staff went above and beyond to modify the way they cared for Isaac to make sure he was comfortable during the surgery and overnight stay.

“Isaac was brilliantly looked after by the doctors and the anaesthetic team – in some previous minor surgeries he was distressed coming out of anaesthetic. At the Eye and Ear they looked after him especially well and it was a positive experience.”

“The Ward 8 nurses were really great. Isaac has some sensory issues and can be sensitive to light. They helped him by dimming the lights, trying different options to make him more comfortable and calming him down if he was anxious.”

Isaac shows photos of his train trip to hospital and in recovery and says highlights were the colourful eye patch, ice cream and Mum being able to stay with him. After reading hospital information about the correct use of eye drops post-surgery, Isaac even created a short video explaining what to and not to do.

Six months on from the successful surgery Kath says the benefits are countless.

“Isaac’s spatial vision is a lot better, he used to trip and stumble a bit, he can now see more clearly. It’s improved his confidence and he can participate in the games in the playground. He loves drawing and writing even more than before. And it’s easier for him to be accepted by his peers.”

Isaac is looking forward to celebrating his seventh birthday with his school friends, and looks on as Mum shows off his first school photos where he is looking straight.

“We’re blessed that Australia has a free public health system,” she says, as Isaac speeds along on his bike outside.