Rch clinician Susan with patient jordan and mum

Meet Jordan

Who's life was changed through the use of Retcam

Ophthalmologist Susan Carden watched the toddler explore the garden around him, savouring the image of a little boy whose eyesight she saved.

Every suspicious look at a passer-by or glance at his mum for reassurance was a tribute to her work at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and the life-changing impact technology funded by the Good Friday Appeal will have.

When Associate Professor Carden met Jordan in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, he was critically unwell, born at 24 weeks and at risk of blindness.

Professor Carden said it was exciting – and slightly emotional – to watch a now two-year-old Jordan walking and seeing. “If there’s anything I’ve done in my life that’s worthwhile, it’s making these kids see,” she said.

It’s why Professor Carden has been so passionate about the Good Friday Appeal.

The machine that saved Jordan’s eyesight has been approaching the end of its lifespan, so a part of this year’s funds have been earmarked to buy a replacement, ensuring the technology can continue to help thousands of patients.

Professor Carden said she used a RetCam to photograph structures inside Jordan’s eyes, enabling her to diagnose and monitor his retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), severe forms of which can lead to blindness.

“It’s a time-dependent disease, so you have to watch it each week or two,” she said.

“Treatment can be either with an injection or a laser, depending on what the ROP looks like.” Mum Tracey said she could not speak more highly of Professor Carden, recalling the day she told her the ROP had started to slow and the injections were working.

“I remember saying to Susan ‘if we didn’t have Covid (restrictions), I could run at you and hug you’,” she said.

“If it wasn’t for Susan and all the equipment they have to help little guys like Jordan then we’d be telling a very different story today.”

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