Boy loses sight to save life

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The Independent Online
A LITTLE boy saw his mother for the last time yesterday before undergoing a life-saving operation which left him blind.

Nicholas Killen, 6, was last night recovering after the operation to remove his right eye because of a cancer of the retina. The left eye was removed in an earlier operation.

Officials at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, had allowed his mother, Susan, to be in the operating theatre so that Nicholas could see her before going under the anaesthetic.

His sister Beverley, 17, last night said he had woken up but was drowsy. The surgery appeared to have been a success. He had wanted to take the patch from his eye but was not allowed to.

Nicholas, of Saltaire, near Bradford, West Yorkshire, had undergone 22 radiotherapy sessions and six doses of chemotherapy in six months. Before yesterday's operation he could see only blurred images as his sight deteriorated because of the tumours. His sister said: 'It's a very rare disease. Only two children have both eyes out in England each year. But Nicholas is the sort of happy, determined youngster who won't be put off by losing his sight.'