Southern Telegraph - - NEWS - Chloe Fraser

A Safety Bay boy di­ag­nosed with a rare eye con­di­tion, which could send him blind, is hop­ing a holistic ap­proach to vi­sion and eye health will help save his sight.

In De­cem­ber 2017, 13- yearold Ben Hutch­e­son was di­ag­nosed with de­gen­er­a­tive eye dis­ease re­tini­tis pig­men­tosa.

Over time, the cells in Ben’s retina will de­gen­er­ate, caus­ing loss of pe­riph­eral vi­sion and blind­ness.

His mother Re­nae said while Ben had ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems with his sight since he was about seven, the di­ag­no­sis came as a shock.

“At the mo­ment the ma­jor prob­lem is the glare from the sun, he has to wear sun­glasses ev­ery time he goes out­side,” she said.

“As it pro­gresses he will lose his pe­riph­eral vi­sion and will pro­gres­sively go blind.

“It will be like he is look­ing down a tun­nel and each day the tun­nel be­comes nar­rower.”

While there is no cure for re­tini­tis pig­men­tosa, Ben and his fam­ily have turned to acupunc­ture and natur­opa­thy treat­ment in an at­tempt to pre­vent fur­ther de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of his vi­sion.

“At the mo­ment what we’re try­ing to do is press pause on it or slow it down,” Mrs Hutch­e­son said.

Two weeks ago, Ben trav­elled to Queens­land to be­gin the first round of an in­ten­sive 12- month long acupunc­ture treat­ment.

If the re­sults are pos­i­tive, Ben and his mother will con­tinue to travel to Queens­land each year for fol­low- up treat­ment, un­til a cure is found.

The fam­ily have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover the ini­tial cost for the first year of treat­ment, which is ex­pected to be about $ 25,000.

In sup­port of Ben’s cause, Ac­ton Rock­ing­ham is hold­ing a char­ity auc­tion on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 19 from 10am.

A paint­ing, val­ued at $ 1800 and do­nated by lo­cal artist Amanda Kimberley, will be one of the items up for auc­tion on the day.

Pic­ture: Chloe Fraser

Ben Hutch­e­son, 13, is hop­ing a holistic ap­proach to vi­sion and eye health will help save his sight. IN­SET: Ben un­der­go­ing treat­ment.

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