Jessie

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So, after 16 years of being diagnosed with an eye condition, I’ve finally decided to share my story.

I was very ill at just two-years-old and wanted to sleep constantly. I was taken to London Hospital where I was told I had Coats’ Disease after many tests and finding out my eye pressure was extremely high. Since then, I’ve had an operation on my eye, as well as constant trips to Brighton Hospital and Conquest. I started wearing a cosmetic contact lens to cover the eye at just age eight because of the comments I got on the appearance of my eye. I remember feeling very insecure about myself and wondering why I didn’t look like everybody else. Being worried about what people think about you isn’t what someone should be thinking at just 8-years-old!

I can’t say life has been easy living with something like this, with constant eye infections and excruciating pain, as well as being anxious and depressed from a young age because of it. But, I just remember that people go through much worse.

Today, at 18-years-old, I have just learned that I am who I am. I once got asked a question, “if you could change something about yourself what would it be?” And I always used to reply “I’d change my eye, I hate it.” But I thought long and hard and realized, “You know what? It is  who I am. Without it, I wouldn’t be the girl I am today. If it’s taught me anything it’s to appreciate what you have in life.”

Coats’ Disease isn’t made aware of enough and by sharing my story I really hope to help other people out there suffering with the same thing. It isn’t easy, but it definitely makes you a stronger person!