Patient Stories

Shaylan's story

Born blind, baby Shaylan underwent bi-lateral cataract surgery at just five months old.

Shaylan had never seen his parents faces until Dr Carole Poloso operated on him at just five months old.

Cataracts in both eyes left baby Shaylan without the ability to see much more than light and blurred shapes. It was difficult for him to know where voices were coming from, or learn and grow without his sight. After returning to Solomon Islands following her training, Dr Carole performed a successful bi-lateral cataract surgery - giving Shaylan his sight for the first time at just five months old.

The moment after a successful surgery is a true miracle. His little face lights up and his family is instantly relieved of the immense weight placed on them. Shaylan can smile with his mother and see his father’s happy face. For them, the anxiety and stress over the development of their child is replaced by a complete joy.

“Our son will be able to see us, his loving parents, and achieve what the future holds for him, with no limitations.”

- Lily and Knoxley, Shaylan’s parents

Shaylan has had one successful surgery, but it doesn’t end there.

His cataracts will try to grow back, and he will need a second surgery in two months. He can then be fitted for custom-made, tiny wrap-around glasses.

When Shaylan is around two-years-old he will have another operation, this time to fit an intraocular lens so that he will fully gain his sight.

Now situated permanently in the Solomon Islands, Dr Carole will be there to help Shaylan and his family again and again.

If Dr Carole was not there, his life would be wildly different.

Dr Carole graduated from the Pacific Eye Institute at the end of 2019, returning home to Solomon Islands just in time for the COVID-19 lockdowns. She is is one of a growing number of Pacific eye doctors who have graduated from the PEI in recent years.

Despite being born without sight, Shaylan was lucky. Even a few years ago, his outcomes would not be what they are now. He could have spent the first few years of his life without sight. Trying to grow and learn- to navigate a new world without being able to see.

Thanks to our wonderful donors and the hard-working doctors and nurses, he has a better chance of growing up happy and healthy like any other child.


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