Nine-year-old boy to see his last Christmas as he prepares for vision loss
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Christmas is a time for colour and light, but for one boy in Dereham this year it will be tinged with darkness.
Michelle Goldsmith, 34, is raising money for her nine-year-old son Leon, who suffers from glaucoma, to experience 'as much as he can' before his sight is lost completely.
Miss Goldsmith said: 'We're hoping it will take a bit longer but there is potential for this to be the last Christmas where he can see.'
When Leon was born, his mum noticed his big blue eyes straight away.
But she soon realised something was wrong, as every time he cried there were no tears.
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Miss Goldsmith said: 'I took him to the doctors multiple times and they said it was blocked tear ducts, and to wipe his eyes.
'Eventually he was diagnosed with primary congenital glaucoma.
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'He's had operations since he was five months old.'
Leon has two tubes in his eyes, but his family fear his vision is now deteriorating further.
Miss Goldsmith said: 'He used to see outlines in his right eye and now he just sees light.
'But in the last few months that's been deteriorating as well.
'In his left eye he had vision and was able to do the letter tests up to the second or third line.'
But at a check up at the NNUH on Tuesday, Leon could only read the first line of letters.
His mum said: 'He bangs into things that he's not banged into before. He is seeing less and less, and at shorter distances.
'We are trying to prepare him for the inevitable.
'He wakes up scared every morning that his vision will be permanently gone.'
Leon is having cane training and learning Braille, but suffers from headaches, light sensitivity and blurry vision.
He has to wear a patch on his right eye to cope with the pain.
He attends Scarning Primary School with sister Louise, 10, where he has given talks in assemblies about his condition to inform other pupils, as well as bringing in his cane and Braille.
Leon's family and friends are raising money for him to enjoy a magical birthday and Christmas before he loses his sight.
They have taken him to his first Norwich City match, and are planning a circus trip in January.
Their goal is to raise £5,000 and take him to Disneyland.
Donations can be made to Leon's JustGiving page.