A seven-year-old Kenilworth girl who has a painful eye condition is asking for people to help her fight against sight loss through a fundraising Christmas appeal.
Matilda Henley has had sight problems since she was 18 months old. She was rushed to hospital in excruciating pain at Christmas in 2010 - and around a year later, she was diagnosed with a corneal dystrophy, which means her eyes are covered in tiny microcysts which can dry out and burst, causing extreme pain and blurred vision.
Matilda has tried a variety of treatments, but none have been successful. Her condition is managed using lubricating eye drops hourly during the day, thick ointments at night and bandage contact lenses. Matilda also wears sunglasses to help protect her eyes, whatever the weather.
Since her diagnosis, her family has been supporting the charity Fight for Sight to raise funds for pioneering eye research. This year, they are selling Christmas puddings from the Ultimate Plum Pudding Company.
Matilda’s mum, Claire Henley said: “It was heartbreaking to witness Matilda in so much pain – we were in utter shock when we got the diagnosis. We were keen to raise awareness and vital funds to help support eye research.
“As parents it is incredibly frustrating not being able to solve your child’s problems. Seeing your child in pain and distress is agony to watch, as you feel so helpless. By raising awareness of Matilda’s condition and Fight for Sight, we feel we are helping in some way. That’s way we’ve set up Team Tilda through Fight for Sight to help raise money specifically to support research into corneal dystrophy.”
Andrew Davies Bakery in Kenilworth is stocking a limited supply of the puddings for £5.50 eac. The bakery owners’ daughter, also called Matilda, has been friends with Matilda since they were nine months old.
To make a donation to Team Tilda, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/displaySomeoneSpecialPage.action?pageUrl=TeamTilda#pageFundraisersRef
To find out more about the charity, visit www.fightforsight.org.uk