Sunderland hospital saves schoolboy’s sight

Youngster Harry Richardson eye has been saved by laser surgery. Mother Dale Richardson and father Lynsey Baxter.

Youngster Harry Richardson eye has been saved by laser surgery. Mother Dale Richardson and father Lynsey Baxter.

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LASER surgery at Sunderland Eye Infirmary has helped save the right eye of a brave schoolboy who sparked a worldwide internet health alert.

Harry Richardson was diagnosed with Coats Disease after his mum, Lynsey Baxter, spotted a white shadow in her son’s eye in a simple family photograph.

Although it’s feared four-year-old Harry, pictured, has lost all or most of his vision in the eye, laser surgery looks to have prevented retina damage – and the danger of the eye being removed.

Ms Baxter, 30, who launched an online “white eye” campaign to warn other parents to look out for similar tell-tale signs of eye disease in their children, said: “It was great news when we were told the laser surgery had worked and prevented further damage.

“We feared Harry would have to have his right eye taken out and replaced with a false eye.

“In the worst case scenario, the retina could have become detached and that’s the last thing we wanted.

“But after laser surgery at Sunderland Eye Infirmary earlier this year, the doctors say Harry does not need to return to hospital for another year, which is fantastic.”

But Ms Baxter, who will marry long-term partner and Harry’s father, Dale Richardson, later this month, said she plans to continue with her “white eye” campaign.

“I had a friend who spotted something in her son’s eye recently and I told her not to wait, but to go and get it checked out straight away.

“I know it can be worrying, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m still in touch with people online about my campaign.

“The message is still the same – look out for any signs of ‘white eye’ in photographs, because while it could be something quite innocent, it could also mean there is a serious problem,” Ms Baxter added.

Ms Baxter, of Jarrow, launched a Facebook site as part of her “white eye” campaign, contacting parents in a similar predicament in the US and other parts of the world.

Search for Red Eye - White Eye (Coats Disease) and then LynsBaxter.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho