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Raffi can see again!

Three-year old Raffi Tendell from Windsor was born on 11th September 2010 in Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire. Three months after he was born he needed emergency laser surgery to save his eyesight from the threat of retinal detachment.


Raffi was born four months premature. As with many premature babies, he was given oxygen. Weaning babies off oxygen and getting them to breathe normal air is a delicate process. One problem can be the risk of retinal detachment. On the 20th December 2010, after Raffi’s fortnightly eye check, the medical team became concerned and requested an urgent second opinion from consultant ophthalmic surgeon and director of the Harley Street Eye Clinic, Mr El-Amir.

According to Mr El-Amir: “After I examined Raffi I had to be frank with his parents. I told them unless I operated now Raffi might go blind.” The laser eye treatment was completed at about 10pm that night. A few days later, Raffi was then referred to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford as Mr El-Amir felt Raffi needed further specialised care.

Now, three years later Raffi’s mother, Fuchsia Helsby, says: “The swift intervention and skill of the eye surgeon saved my son’s eyesight.” Raffi has now been given the all-clear by Mr El-Amir, but, as far as Fuchsia Helsby is concerned: “I’m delighted that Raffi’s now just a normal little boy who can see everything.”

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