Sienna’s fight for sight

01 October 17

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Press Office

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Sienna’s story living with retinopathy of prematurity

In 2012 Catherine gave birth to twins, Sienna and Joshua, born premature at 28 weeks. Whilst in hospital in the week in which they were due to be discharged, Catherine was told that Sienna’s eyes hadn’t formed correctly.

Sienna’s eye condition is called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and has left her with only a small pocket of light perception in her left eye. She relies on a white cane when out and about. In adulthood, she will come to rely on this cane for her independence.

ROP is often caused because the blood vessels in a baby’s eye have not finished growing completely or are not growing normally. Joshua was OK, but Sienna was diagnosed with ROP in both eyes.

Sienna is only four years old but has had to have laser eye surgery, which was a major operation on someone so small. In most cases this method is usually successful but unfortunately it didn’t work for Sienna, who has had to have additional operations to try and save her remaining sight.

Currently, she has no sight in her right eye. In her left, she has a small level of light perception.

Sienna’s mum Catherine said:

“Given the diagnosis that Sienna may never be able to see and that she would be lucky to have navigation vision and light perception was very hard to come to terms with. Today Sienna relies on a white cane to gain more independence when out and about. I know I am going to have to fight for her every day.”


With your help, we can ensure that children like Sienna, who live with sight loss every day, don’t have to face a future without faces and without colours.

Retinopathy of prematurity

What is it?

Retinopathy of prematurity is a condition that can affect babies who are born early, before the blood vessels that supply the light-sensitive layer of the eye (the retina) have finished growing.

If it’s not treated, retinopathy of prematurity can cause irreversible sight loss. It is a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide.

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