“When she was about 10 weeks old we noticed that Shauna kept her head lowered down, her eyes were watering and she lost her appetite. We took her to a GP thinking it might be allergies because it was summer, but we were told to go to Cavan General where she was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma in both eyes. This means that raised pressure can damage the optic nerve in the eye and cause loss of vision or even blindness. It was an awful shock for both of us. We were referred to the ophthalmology department in Crumlin Hospital and she was in the care of Mr Brosnahan. Shauna had surgery on both her eyes when she was just 12 weeks old. We were so lucky her eyes stabilised after that surgery. "After three years the pressure in her eyes began to rise again. Mr Brosnahan had to do more surgery and it was successful. Her eyes stabilised again, but she’s also on drops now. We go up to Crumlin every three months to monitor the eye pressure. After Crumlin she will still be monitored when she’s older in an adult hospital. Shauna is 12 years old now and her eyesight is perfect. We got her to the hospital just in time as a baby and caught the disease before there was damage to her optic nerve. I can’t believe how lucky we were.
Shauna has just finished primary school and is looking forward to starting secondary in September. She’s sharp, intelligent, she’s performing in all her sports, she’s heavily involved in the GAA and gifted musically. There’s nothing holding her back. Her eye condition was devastating news for us but she has shown so much maturity through all her operations, from a very young age. She’s had so many general anaesthetics in her young life too which was tough, but she’s been so good. They call glaucoma the ‘silent thief of eyesight’ because there are no symptoms, pain or red lights flashing to tell you something’s wrong. Sometimes when it’s diagnosed the damage is already done. We got all the help we needed in Crumlin to make sure that Shauna’s eyesight was saved, and now the hospital monitor her too, which is a huge relief to us. - Ashley Morris, Shauna’s dad, 24th July 2018