20th Jan, 2019

Family flying to Singapore in bid to save youngster's eyesight

A YOUNGSTER who is going blind is being forced to fly to Singapore in a bid to save his sight.

Charlie Beech began suffering eye problems when he was just seven-years-old and since then his sight has deteriorated dramatically, with doctors saying he could go blind during his teenage years.

The Stratford 12-year-old has been diagnosed with cupped optic discs, severe short-sightedness and glaucoma – which causes damage to the optic nerve and is often found in older people.

His prescription changes so rapidly he has to have new glasses made every three months. Many of his complex sight problems result from being born prematurely weighing just 1.5lb.

Now his doctors say the only chance of saving the former Bridgetown Primary pupil’s sight is for him to travel to Singapore where he can get drops which would prevent his eyes from deteriorating further.

The drops are not yet available in Britain, and although they may be by the end of 2019, that could be too late for Charlie, who now attends a special needs school in Nuneaton.

Science-loving Charlie will travel to Asia with his mum Carla and ten-year-old sister Brooke at the beginning of April.

It will be the first time the family has ever travelled abroad.

Carla told the Observer: “We had been coming to terms with the fact that Charlie may lose his sight completely.

“But in January his consultant told us that there are new eye drops which will stunt any changes and stop his sight from getting any worse. However, these drops are currently only available in Singapore, China and Australia.

“I am taking Charlie over to an eye clinic in Singapore where we will be able to obtain a year’s supply of the drops.

“As a single parent family we have been struggling since to save and I have had to get loans from family and friends.”

Carla has set up a fundraising page to try and raise £1,000 to help fund the journey and pay for the medication, with the drops alone costing £400.

The family can legally bring back a year’s worth of the drops. After that Charlie’s doctor at Warwick Hospital hopes the treatment will be available in the UK.

Carla added: “The drops are hopefully going to be available here at the end of next year but this will be too late to help Charlie.

“He has had to attend numerous eye appointments every month over the past few years and has had to listen to constant negative news regarding his eyes. This was until the appointment when his consultant pointed us in the direction of Singapore.

“Charlie is very excited about going.”

Visit www.gofundme.com/55j8vi8 to donate.

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