A toddler from Northern Ireland is facing the possibility of a radical Chinese stem cell operation in order to save her sight.
Fifteen-month-old Amelia Filipczak from Tuam, Co Galway, suffers from hypotonia and optic nerve hypoplasia and is travelling to China to undergo the operation, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
Her mother Justyna told the newspaper that the cost of the trip is far more than they have been able to save and so they are relying on donations to fund it.
"This is the one hope we have of getting sight for Amelia as they cannot do any surgery on the optic nerves. Only stem cells can help make her optic nerves grow and give her sight," she explained.
Novelist Candia McWilliam, who suffered from blepharospasm, a condition which forces the eyelids to stay closed even though the eyes are otherwise fine, underwent a pioneering procedure that gave her back her sight after two years of blindness.
by Alexa Kaczka