Kuwaiti mum relieved after baby daughter receives treatment for rare eye condition at London hospital

Mr Wong in ward
Mr Wong

A Kuwaiti mother has expressed her joy and relief about her premature baby daughter, Talia, being treated for a rare eye condition, congenital coloboma of the optic nerve, at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London.

A coloboma is a gap in the structures of the eye and is caused when a baby's eyes do not develop properly during pregnancy. It is considered a rare disease as it affects just 1 in 10,000 births. Talia’s congenital coloboma has led to a retinal detachment, which can potentially cause blindness.

Speaking about her daughter’s condition, Talia’s mum said: “She was born premature and did not have a normal eye from birth. It was a very difficult time for us and we were unsure what to do next. Our doctor in Kuwait referred us to GOSH in London to see Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Mr Chien Wong. I was initially very worried as coloboma is such a rare disease so it was important for us to have someone with a lot of experience treating children with similar rare diseases. Mr Wong has been very informative and knew exactly what to do. He has been great and he knows what is best for my daughter, so I trust him.”

Speaking about the treatment, Mr Chien Wong, Head of Retinal Detachment Surgery in premature infants at GOSH, said: “I have many years of experience managing complex retinal detachments in patients, some of whom can improve without needing any surgery,” Mr Chien Wong explains. “I conducted a thorough assessment and imaging of Talia’s retina under general anaesthesia. I made the decision to hold off on surgery, and six weeks later upon repeat of examination under anaesthesia, the retinal detachment had improved as I had expected. With the specialist tests that we were able to do, I also found that her other eye was at risk of developing retinal detachment, which I was able to successfully treat with laser.”

Talia is currently still at GOSH in London and her future is looking brighter since receiving care at GOSH. Her mum’s ultimate hope is for any vision Talia may have to be restored so she can live a normal life.

“I am hopeful that her condition will stabilise and I will continue to review her closely. Talia is a joyful child with wonderfully supportive and thoughtful parents. I worked very closely with her parents to ensure she received the best treatment possible at every stage of her care with me,” Mr Chien Wong concludes.

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