Annette & Sam’s story

Sam was diagnosed with uveitis when he was 5yrs old. He had an eye test at school in his reception year, which picked up he couldn’t see at all out of one eye. This was referred to the hospital and subsequently to the eye infirmary. Sam went through many operations, tests; hospital visits even a trip to Moorfields in London to find out what was wrong with his eyes.

He was so brave and soon became fed up with hospital visits. He was there every 2 weeks for examinations under anaesthetic to monitor his condition and to ensure no further damage was being done. After a few weeks it became apparent that Sam’s retina had detached and that the scar tissue was so great that it couldn’t be repaired.

He was already blind in his left eye and we hadn’t even realized. Two operations to repair the damage were unsuccessful. Nobody seemed to know what was wrong with him. Eventually this awful disease was given a name…Uveitis…inflammatory eye disease. After a couple more weeks we had more bad news, the disease was also in his right eye. We were worried sick. He needed further treatment and operations. His right eye was bad but steroid treatment and having the retina lasered down appeared to stabilize things. He still needed weekly checks.

In all this time he had been off school and missed most of yr 1 and some of yr 2. He was now also way behind his peers at school. Eventually things settled down but it was 3-4 yrs of operations, 22 in total, check ups, drops every day, taking med’s and trying to ensure we didn’t miss any signs of deterioration. He got a cataract in his bad eye which had to be treated and he now has keratopathy in his blind eye, small blisters on the cornea, but throughout all of this Sam has been amazing.

After years of worry, heartbreak and stress we were told Sam was in remission. It was a great relief. Three years down the line and Sam is now 13 yrs old, remains stable and in remission, but as the doctors say never say never… We still look for signs of deterioration in his vision or signs that his uveitis has flared again and still have regular check ups at the eye infirmary. The staff and doctors at the hospital have been amazing and we thank them with all our heart for saving Sam’s sight.

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