ECONOMY

Twins born with cataracts ‘doing brilliantly’ after Gosh treatment

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wins born with cataracts in both eyes are now reading “anything they can get their hands on” thanks to specialist treatment at a world-renowned children’s hospital.

Seven-year-old twins Iona and Beth Farshi were only a few weeks old when it was discovered that they had problems with their sight.

Most people associate cataracts with the elderly, but children and babies can also be affected.

The condition occurs when the lens of the eye develops cloudy patches. It can inhibit sight and can affect activities like driving or reading.

GOSH Consultant Mr Rob Henderson examines patient Beth in the new Sight and Sound Centre supported by Premier Inn_2

The girl’s mother, Jude Farshi, first noticed something was wrong when Iona’s eyes seemed to flicker a lot when she was just six weeks old.

After a GP appointment and investigations at their local hospital, both twins were referred to the ophthalmology team at Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh) when they were just four months old.

“The hospital told me they wanted to send us straight to Gosh, and it was a shock,” Mrs Farshi said.

The 37-year-old charity worker added: “I didn’t know if they were telling me whether my kids could see, or not. They were so little, only four months old.”

Both girls were placed under monitoring but when Iona was 11 months old, Mrs Farshi and her 35-year-old husband Daniel Farshi, were told that her vision was starting to get worse and might not develop correctly in the future.

GOSH patient Beth with Bronwen Walters, Head Orthoptist in the Sight and Sound Centre supported by Premier Inn

The family were fearful that Iona might lose her vision completely.

She had a series of operations on each eye to put in artificial lenses and remove her cataracts.

At one point the family, from Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, needed to travel to the hospital on London every couple of weeks.

Mrs Farshi added: “It was quite an unknown when we found out about the cataracts, we had questions like ‘would it just be surgery that they need? Would they be blue badge holders? Would they need a guide dog?’ I had no idea.

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