Chinese treatment hope for little Keira

(l-r) Rob MacFarlane, Keira MacFarlane and Emma Eyvbowho at a charity event to raise money to send Keira to China for stem cell treatment. Picture: Andrew Roe
(l-r) Rob MacFarlane, Keira MacFarlane and Emma Eyvbowho at a charity event to raise money to send Keira to China for stem cell treatment. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A MUM and dad are hoping controversial stem cell treatment in China could help save their young daughter’s seriously impaired eyesight.

Little Keira MacFarlane can only see bright lights after she was born with a rare eye condition.

Parents Emma Eyvbowho, aged 23, and Rob MacFarlane, 25, want to send Keira, who suffers from optic nerve hyperplasia, to the Far East for stem cell injections.

Medical experts, who have told the family there is no cure for 19-month-old Keira’s condition, say the treatment is unproven.

But their opinion has not stopped Emma and Robert from making a last-ditch attempt to help their daughter.

Fundraising events, including a evening with boxing legend Joe Frazier at Skellow Grange WMC last weekend, have already helped raise more than £12,000.

The pair want to reach their £20,000 target by Christmas and send Keira for the treatment next year.

Emma said: “We will try anything to help our little girl.

“I saw a few news stories about the condition so I started researching it further.

“I managed to contact a family from Ireland who took their little girl for stem cell treatment.

“I’ve spoken to her mum who said ‘go for it’.

“Her girl had the same condition as Keira and could only see lights.

“Now she can see numbers and letters which she can recognise.

“We think if there is any chance it can improve Keira’s sight then it’s a gamble worth taking.”

Emma and Rob, of Grassholme Close, Lakeside, took Keira to Doncaster Royal Infirmary when they became worried about her sight.

The youngster was referred to the specialist eye clinic at the Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital where tests discovered her condition.

Emma said: “When she was born we didn’t really pick up on anything. But when she was three months old she could not focus and her eyes were wobbling all over when she tried.

“Then she was sent for a brain scan in Sheffield which found that she was suffering from the condition.”

Optic nerve hypoplasia is caused by a loss of wiring between the eye and brain during pregnancy. A spokesman for Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital said their doctors did not recommend the treatment, which is not available on the NHS.

Emma and Rob have organised another fundraising night at the Doncaster School for the Deaf on May 28.

Contact Emma at emmaeyv@hotmail.co.uk.