Dane’s story began when he was six months old. His mother took him to the GP for a routine check-up, only to be told that the doctor could see something at the back of his eye. She consulted with another doctor and after much deliberation they agreed that there was a clouding on his lens.
Most likely a cataract, the doctor also mentioned the possibility that it may be a tumour and according to Dane’s mother Nicola “That rocked my world, and send me into panic mode”.
Ten days later a paediatric ophthalmologist confirmed that Dane had a unilateral congenital cataract. Given that it was suspected that the cataract had been present since birth, there were strong concerns that the affected eye would never develop sufficient vision because the neural pathways between the eye and the brain had already been formed without the visual stimulus from this eye.
After investigating the condition and seeking several opinions, Dane’s parents decided to operate in the hope that some vision rehabilitation could be achieved.
Three years later, having become a genuine patching expert, Dane has developed enough vision in his affected eye so that if anything was to ever happen to the non-affected eye, he will still have functional vision and may even be able to get a drivers license.
Dane’s parents patched him for every waking hour (but two) in the early days, gradually decreasing and he now wears a patch for four hours a day in total.
According to Dane’s mother “Patching an infant and toddler definitely had its challenges. We tried all kinds of patches until we found one that we really liked. We found it difficult to source them at first, so have started up our own website to make them more accessible to Australian families”.
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