By the time she came to Moorfields aged eight, Rhiannon Willis was blind in one eye and rapidly losing her sight in the other eye due to glaucoma, cataracts and severe inflammation. In 2001 her care was assigned to Professor Sir Peng Khaw to save the sight in her right eye.
Originally her treatment took place in the main hospital – Rhiannon remembers the very long and boring waits, however she loved Professor Khaw and trusted him from the offset. He was able to explain things in a way that she understood and gave her hope.
Rhiannon laid the foundation stone of the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre in 2007. Rhiannon was 14 when the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre (RDCEC) opened. The new centre provided a more welcoming environment with facilities to suit children of all ages, including computer games for teenagers and fantastic play areas for toddlers. The facilities are great for parents too, helping to distract their children and reducing anxiety for all concerned.
Professor Khaw was able to save Rhiannon’s sight in her right eye, including reducing the pressure in her optic nerve. Rhiannon still remembers the moment the eye patch was removed after her surgery. She says: “The vision was so clear; so sharp with so many colours!”
Rhiannon now attends the hospital as an adult patient. “I feel privileged to have been treated at the RDCEC. It is a place that has the most amazing specialists in eye care and truly is a reflection of the life changing advances in modern day science.”
Read more about the Richard Desmond Children's Eye Centre in 'Transforming lives for 10 years'.