In 2005, one child, Ksenia (Ksusha), had a bad squint. Through the generosity of local consultants, specialists and hospitals, she received diagnosis and treatment.

Ksusha had had a squint from birth but nothing had been offered in the way of squint repair in Belarus.

On viewing a photo of Ksusha, a consultant at Ashtead Hospital said that it was unlikely that she had any sight remaining in the affected eye, as generally the brain switches off the sight in a squinting eye. In this country surgery would have been carried out before the age of one. The consultant felt that the squint was disfiguring, and probably would cause Ksusha embarrassment and distress. His advice was that surgery should be offered even though it was likely only to offer a cosmetic solution. He offered to see Ksusha during the visit and, if she and her family wished, he would be prepared to carry out corrective surgery on a return visit if that could be arranged.

Young girl from Belarus smiling

Ksusha’s family were delighted at the thought of corrective surgery and Ksusha arrived in England with a permission letter for hospital visits and examination.

Ksusha visited the optician and it was discovered that she had an alternating squint. This means that she squints with both eyes in turn, so that when she looks at something to the left, she uses her right eye, and vice versa. This meant that she still had sight in both eyes. This made the need for surgery even more pressing as her sight could be significantly improved with a correction.

Ksusha returned to the UK in March 2006, staying with hosts Barbara and Bob.  Before her operation she was interviewed on Radio Jackie and you can listen to the interview here. The full private cost of this surgery would amount to £2500 but through the generosity of the Consultant Anaesthetist and Ashtead Hospital all fees were waived.

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