Pediatric nurse Emily Maher first met her husband in 2013 and before they knew it they had two kids and were happily married.
Emily's husband and their two daughters were born with a rare eye condition called aniridia, which led to them being registered as sight impaired. Aniridia is a condition where the eye has little or no iris (coloured part of the eye) and can also cause other eye conditions due to unique way the eye is developed.
On their fundraising page Emily said, ''Mine and my husbands health has deteriorated over the years causing us both to become registered disabled. In 2016 I got diagnosed with grade three osteoarthritis and a condition called trochlea dysplasia, this is where my knees dislocate. This has led me having to change the direction of my nursing career and become part of the school nursing team. I have had to go through numerous investigations/operations and have recently been informed, at the young age of 30, that a partial knee replacement will be the only way forward to help improve my quality of life.''
Emily went on to tell us more about her family, who are now facing even more challenges.
''As well as dealing with my own health needs, my husband Daniel’s eyes have deteriorated. In 2017 my husband developed a cyst on his stronger eye causing his unique eye to heal itself incorrectly. This healing process caused him to start losing vision out of his stronger eye. Daniel still continued to work with the help of Access to Work until he was sadly made redundant in 2018. Daniel has always been independent and determined to not let his eye condition affect his life. However, in the same year as being made redundant his eye deteriorated so much that he was unable to see anything except movement. This therefore led to him becoming severally sight impaired/blind. Daniel eventually had to have a cornea transplant in dec 2020. The operation so far has been classified as a success due to Daniel now seeing 2 meters away. He has to continue taking several eye drops a day and has recently been informed that the other eye will need to have the same operation due to it also deteriorating over time. As aniridia is rare we have no idea what causes the eye to deteriorate over adulthood. Further research is continuing so that treatment can be given to prevent blindness.''
''At the moment our eldest daughter is being assessed for a cane. This is due to her tripping over a lot because of her visual impairment. This happens a lot in our garden due to it being so uneven. Daniel has also had to have training with using a cane to help him mobilise independently as he was constantly tripping over and hurting himself when alone.''
All of these issues build up to be a problem when moving around the home. Emily dreams of a safe garden space for her family to enjoy, without the fear of her children being injured, due to their impairments.
Emily said, ''This has led us to our goal of a safe and accessible garden for me and my family so that we can remain as independent as possible. We have had occupational health help us to get the inside of our house to a safe standard for us all, meaning we don’t have to rely on carers as much, but sadly they can not provide funding for gardens.''
Even the smallest donation will go a long way in helping this young family to a safer and then much happier life at home. Click here to make a donation.