Cape Breton girl to receive vision-saving surgery thanks to online donations
Published Saturday, March 10, 2018 6:49PM AST
Last Updated Saturday, March 10, 2018 7:17PM AST
A three-year-old in Cape Breton will receive surgery that could save her vision because of the kindness of strangers.
Norah Cameron Ranni loves singing ‘Happy Birthday’ even when no one is celebrating and enjoys cooking in her toy microwave. But now, a rare condition is threatening the sight in her right eye.
She’s been diagnosed with a rare condition called oculofaciocardiodental syndrome.
“It’s said to affect less than one in one million people,” says her mother Shauna Cameron in their Glace Bay home.
Norah has already had several surgeries including having cataracts removed at four and six weeks old.
She then developed glaucoma in both eyes and needs a corneal transplant in her right, which unlike her previous operations, can’t be performed in Nova Scotia.
Cameron says the family will be spending a lot of time at the hospital for sick children in Toronto and the costs are adding up.
"We're going to stay in the area for up to a month because it's a transplant and for just the accommodations $5,000.”
The family says they’ve spent plenty of money on bi-weekly trips to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax over the past year and because of the demand of Norah’s condition they are unable to work full time.
The family set up a GoFundMe page which has already exceeded its $5,000 goal.
"It’s surreal,” says Norah’s father Matt Ranni. “I’ve had people contacting me from across Cape Breton, all over Nova Scotia and all the way to British Columbia, and even down to the states.”
"It’s amazing,” says Cameron. “We couldn't be happier to at least have this trip that we don't have to worry about expenses."
The family leaves for Toronto on Sunday and Norah is scheduled to receive her surgery Monday.
Her parents expect it will be the first of four operations and roughly fifteen hospital visits in total, meaning there will be more costs in the years ahead.
"If she has an issue with the eye once we come back to Nova Scotia, we can't be seen in Halifax or Sydney… we have to fly back to Toronto,” Cameron says.
They say they're simply looking forward to getting this operation out of the way, but not much seems to be weighing on the happy little girl’s mind.
"She's actually looking forward to going to Toronto, flying on the airplane and she's aware of getting eye drops every hour,” says Ranni.
The family says they hope to pay it forward in return for the kindness of strangers one day when Norah gets older.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.