Help Matilda’s Fight for Sight This Christmas

16 November 16

written by:

Heather Fanning

(more articles)

Buy a Christmas Pudding & Support Vital Eye Research

Matilda Henley, 7, from Kenilworth, is asking Santa for her ‘poorly eyes’ to get better to help her fight against sight loss this year and you can help her.

Matilda has been living with sight problems since she was 18 months old - Christmas 2010 was a traumatic year for Matilda and her family, when she was rushed to A&E in excruciating pain. At the time it was believed that Matilda had a scratched cornea.

Nearly a year later, in December 2011, Matilda was eventually diagnosed with a corneal dystrophy. Her eyes are covered in tiny microcysts, which can dry out and burst causing extreme pain and blurred vision.

Since Matilda’s diagnosis the family support the UK’s leading eye research charity, Fight for Sight, to raise funds for pioneering eye research. Matilda has tried a variety of treatment options to help prevent erosions occurring - though none have been successful. Her condition is managed using lubricating eye drops hourly during the day, thick ointments at night and bandage contact lenses. Whatever the weather Matilda also wears sunglasses to help protect her eyes come rain or shine.

This Christmas, the family are selling a selection of award winning puddings from the Ultimate Plum Pudding Company, a small Cumbrian company that have been making puddings for over 20 years, to help raise funds to support eye research into corneal dystrophy.

Matilda’s mum, Claire Henley, 36, said: "It was heart breaking 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. We felt we needed to do something and 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, Warwick Road, Kenilworth, is keen to support the cause and will be stocking a limited supply of Christmas Puddings and Sticky Toffee Puddings for £5.50 each – which hopefully will go like hot cakes. The bakery owners' daughter, also called Matilda, has been friends with Matilda since they were nine months old after meeting at nursery.

Hannah Cosh, Head of Fundraising at Fight for Sight said: “Without supporters like the Henley and Davies families we wouldn’t be able to fund vital eye research – we’re incredibly grateful. The funds raised will support eye research helping to create a future that Matilda can see and also many others living with the same condition.”

Watch Matilda’s fight for sight story and if you're feeling festive book your tickets for the Fight for Sight Christmas Carol Concert