There can be few experiences more exciting than regaining one’s sight after being blind. Kiriana Thackeray knows the feeling.
A young mother who went blind suddenly when her baby was just seven months old has had her sight restored by a Wellington surgeon in an operation believed to be a New Zealand first.
She had not seen stars in the sky since she was 17. And being reunited with her daughter, Te Amorangi, was “like seeing her for the first time.”
She says her sight is now the best it has been – she had not seen stars in the sky since she was 17.
And being reunited with her daughter, Te Amorangi, was “like seeing her for the first time”.
“During the time I couldn’t see, I missed out on so much. She would crawl up to me and try to catch my eye, but when I didn’t respond, she would just crawl away.
“She’s an IVF baby, we waited six years for her … it seemed so cruel that having finally got her, I wouldn’t see her grow up … Dr Mackey has given us our life back.”
Dr Mackey said it had been challenging to find the right surgical solution for Mrs Thackeray because of the complexity of her case.
“It was a pretty tough thing for a young woman, and a new mother, to be dealing with, and she was inconsolable the first time she came in. It’s been great to watch her recovery, very satisfying for all of us.”
Mrs Thackeray said that, without the police health insurance plan, she would still be waiting for surgery.
“If we hadn’t had that, I wouldn’t have my sight back …
“You never honestly know what’s going to happen tomorrow, you could wake up and not be able to see, so we’re so grateful for what we’ve got.”
Kiriana Thackeray’s verisyse procedure
* Clear jelly-like fluid inside her eye is drained – a procedure known as a vitrectomy.
* Lens inserted through a 6mm cut in the white of the eye and centred in front of the pupil, between the iris and the cornea.
* The lens’ claw-like attachments each snag a fold in the iris to hold it in place.