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  • As a parent you do anything you can for your child.

  • I guess I just went one step further.

  • I had such a great pregnancy with Liberty.

  • We'd had scans, and nothing came up.

  • But every time we got a scan she had her hand over her eye.

  • It was like she knew.

  • There was an issue called microphthalmia.

  • Her eye that she can't see out of is 40 % smaller than her other eye.

  • And you need to fill that void with a prosthetic.

  • If you don't have that prosthetic eye in there you'll face will collapse.

  • As a father, I didn't know how to deal with it.

  • What do you do? You can't fix it.

  • And some of the appointments were horrendous.

  • One of the ocularists that we saw, the mold got stuck.

  • Ashleigh was bear-hugging her while he was trying to pull it off.

  • To get it out he basically just ripped it out.

  • She was trembling, it was pretty horrific.

  • Sorry...

  • And that was it for me.

  • I wasn't putting her through any of that ever again.

  • We literally got home and he was on the computer.

  • I wanted to know how to start making prosthetic eyes myself for my daughter.

  • I was like, 'maybe we should just let the professionals do it'.

  • He just said,'look what a professional did to our daughter'.

  • I can do it better and without hurting her.

  • That's when he found the John Pacey-Lowrie video.

  • I dug into it and would stop the video and look at what John was using.

  • And I pieced together parts of the process to be able to do it the best that I could

  • with the things that I had.

  • It was really frustrating.

  • I'd get 3/4 way through making a perfect eye,

  • and then the last bit of the process I'd stuff up.

  • But I knew each step, I was getting a step closer to making one.

  • The first time Ashleigh had said, yeah that's a good one, we'll try it,

  • was hard to describe.

  • Knowing that she was walking around with one that I had made for her.

  • For me that was a moment of walk out to the shed and have a cry,

  • with no one looking.

  • Because I had done something for the family, finally.

  • So, over two years I've made about 20-odd eyes for her,

  • and I realised how much of a passion I had for it.

  • And I said, 'well is this what you want to for a job?'

  • 'Is this where you see yourself?'.

  • And he said 'yes'.

  • I said 'OK, let's make it happen then'.

  • When Dwayne first contacted me,

  • basic question, 'I want to become an ocularist, how do I do it?'

  • It's a bit surreal,

  • going from seeing a man on YouTube to coming and training here with him.

  • Going from sledgehammers on an oil rig, to tiny little machines

  • and RS buttons and stuff is pretty awesome.

  • You start with nothing.

  • At the end of it you've got a person

  • that is wearing an eye that you have made by hand.

  • That is very good.

  • Yeah, the movement is amazing.

  • Knowing that I am capable now,

  • I have to be using what I've learned.

  • Being back, now it's really all just starting to fall into place.

  • I've got a state-of-the-art clinic.

  • It's really growing into my dream.

  • Oculus Prosthetics is the ocularist practice that Dwayne and I have started.

  • You can't really explain what it means to people until you experience,

  • sitting there with a parent, with their child and being able

  • to have those moments where you see a parent cry

  • because their kid looks amazing.

  • It's hard enough being a parent, let alone having the unknowns.

  • We just feel like we can make it a little bit easier.

  • People come first.

  • That's how we'll be different.

As a parent you do anything you can for your child.

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An Eye Fit for Liberty

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    Chia posted on 2017/12/19
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