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Bobby's family in race against time to raise £50,000

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

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“We feel like we have been robbed of our baby.”

Wes Brown’s voice betrayed the fear and worry that has consumed his family since Bobby’s birth.

The joy he and his wife Cath felt at the birth of their third bouncing baby boy quickly turned to despair as it became clear that all was not right with little Bobby.

Four-week-old Bobby has Peters’ Anomaly, a very rare cornea disorder that has rendered him blind in both eyes.

His only hope is a pioneering artificial cornea transplant in America, but his family must first raise £50,000 to pay for it.

They have only two weeks to raise the money, as specialist Professor James Aquavella, of New York’s University of Rochester Eye Institute, will only operate when a baby is younger than two months old.

After that the brain is too old to learn to see and the transplant is useless.

“We are absolutely devastated,” said Bobby’s mum Cath. “I feel like I’m living someone else’s life.

“When you have a baby you plan their whole life, but then if there’s something wrong you feel as though you’ve been robbed of them,” she said.

Cath had a normal pregnancy and gave birth on March 3, but on March 13 she and her husband Wes were told there was a problem with his eyesight.

On March 20 Alder Hey doctors diagnosed Peters’ Anomaly.

Today, Thursday, Bobby is at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to see a cornea specialist.

His parents expect to be offered donor transplants, but these are rare and often rejected in children, and they don’t want to miss the window of opportunity with Professor Aquavella.

Wes and Cath turned to the internet, where they learned of his transplants.

He offered his help and has booked them into his clinic on April 17, with Bobby’s first eye operation on April 21 and second on April 28.

Wes and Cath, of Orford, have tried to remortgage their house to pay for his treatment, but cannot.

The transplant will not guarantee Bobby’s sight, but his parents are desperate to give him the best possible chance at vision.

For that, they need your help to pay the hospital fees.

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Source: Warrington
1.0 from 2 votes
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