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Blind Deal toddler Freddie Penny has first week of sight-restoring treatment

By Mercury reporter

The mother of a blind toddler undergoing life-changing treatment in Thailand says his first week of gruelling procedures has gone well.

Little Freddie Penny, who is just two-and-a-half, is at the Unique Access Hospital in Bangkok where he received his first stem cell lumbar puncture.

The brave youngster will have three as part of the intense treatment aimed at helping him see.

Freddie Penny is undergoing life-changing treatment in Thailand

Freddie Penny is undergoing life-changing treatment in Thailand

It follows a district-wide campaign, backed by the Mercury, to help raise £25,000 to pay for the trip.

His mum, Robyn Gough, 24, from Deal, and nan Jenny are by his side.

Speaking from Thailand, Miss Gough said his first week had gone well although it could take anywhere up to three months to see progress.

“He has been very brave. Every day has been non-stop and tiring for him but he’s coping very well and I am so proud of him,” she said.

“During the first week Freddie received his first stem cell lumbar puncture procedure.

“He will have three in total. It is the quickest and most efficient method to allow stem cells to reach the central nervous system.

“He has also received his first IV stem cell treatment. He will have two in total.”

During his first week, the
toddler also had several intense therapies to help with his development.

Blind toddler Freddie Penny, two, has reached the target of £25k to pay for life changing eye surgery in Bangkok Pictured with his mum Robyn Gough

Blind toddler Freddie Penny, two, has reached the target of £25k to pay for life changing eye surgery in Bangkok Pictured with his mum Robyn Gough

Miss Gough added: “To help support the overall treatment, Freddie is having regular transcranial magnetic stimulation, which use magnetic pulses to stimulate cells in his brain and the brains motor cortex which will also help reduce discomfort for him.”

She said pictures of his treatment will not be put on the Facebook appeal page but she will keep supporters updated on his progress.

Freddie has septo-optic dysplasia and part of the condition means his optic nerves are undeveloped, causing blindness.

The treatment to restore his sight is not available in the UK but has been available in Thailand for 10 years. The only option was to have the treatment there, at a cost of £25,000.

Doctors are confident the treatment will be successful and Freddie will eventually be able to see for the first time.

Freddie is due to return to the UK with his family on Sunday, May 21.

To keep up to date with Freddie’s progress go to the Fund for Freddie Facebook page.

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