A YOUNG family has praised the 'caring and amazing' staff at Oxford's Children's Hospital after they saved their daughter's sight.

Having just celebrated her second birthday in January 2015, Eliza Hammond was taken to the Oxford Eye Hospital for a major eye operation.

Having being diagnosed with children's cataracts and with just 10 per cent vision in her eyes, doctors told her parents, Lynne and Tom, they would have to operate quickly to save her sight.

The mother-of-two said: "We were absolutely devastated.

"We had an hour long conversation with Dr Goran Hildebrand, who Eliza now adores and calls Dr Hamster, as he explained the operations she would be having.

"We got home and were trying to process everything and spoke to his secretary before he gave us another two hours to go through everything with us.

"He is just amazing and the support we received from him and the staff at the hospital was just incredible."

In just two weeks Eliza underwent three major eye operations to remove the lens from her eye and have it replaced with a clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens.

She stayed in Robins Ward at the Children's Hospital and Mrs Hammond said they could not be more accommodating.

She said: "Because Eliza could not see very well I had to sleep very close to her.

"I had a terrible nights sleep on the camp bed so I just asked if we could remove the cot and camp bed and have a hospital bed where I could sleep in with her.

"And it was done no questions asked.

The 34-year-old said that during her stay on Robins Ward Eliza made friends with two particular nurses.

She added: "There was always someone to talk to, if I felt like a wobble there would always be a nurse in the kitchen.

"Eliza had two favourites who she would want to see every morning.

"The first night we were there we were both crying and one nurse just stayed with us the entire time.

"They are all amazing."

Eliza visits the hospital every few months for check ups and her after care is expected to run into her teens.

She added: "She is really taking responsibility now and understands what has happened to her.

"She has to wear a patch but she will choose whether she has a mermaid or a dog and knows how to apply it over her eye.

"But I think the best thing the hospital has done for us all, especially Eliza, is showing that a hospital is not a scary place.

"She even looks forward to going."

To thank the staff on Robin's Ward, Eliza collected toys from her friends last Christmas and delivered them herself.

Mrs Hammond said: "It is really important that we give back to the hospital.

"Eliza handed out all the toys to all the children there which was great."

Mrs Hammond will be taking part in the Ox5 run at Blenheim Palace in March.

Last Week the Oxford Mail launched its 10th anniversary campaign to help raise the £2m needed for a new 62-bedroom Ronald McDonald House for parents.

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