Rallying after infection takes eye

Brisbane teenager Riley Adams (15) is now blind in one eye after a sinus infection on a cruise to...
Brisbane teenager Riley Adams (15) is now blind in one eye after a sinus infection on a cruise to New Zealand last week. Photo: Supplied
The Australian teenager who lost the sight in one eye after contracting a freak sinus infection while on a cruise to New Zealand is on the road to some sort of recovery, his father says.

Riley Adams (15) and his family had just left Brisbane on a 10-day cruise of New Zealand when he contracted a severe case of sinusitis that caused his left eye to swell to the size of a golf ball.

He is now in Dunedin Hospital with his parents, Jason and Jodi, by his side.

Although he was treated with antibiotics on the ship, the rapid swelling put too much pressure on his optical nerve and caused permanent blindness.

Since being rushed to hospital when the ship docked in Port Chalmers last Sunday, the 15-year-old had undergone three surgeries to relieve the pressure on his eye.

Speaking to the Otago Daily Times yesterday, Mr Adams said after a difficult week it seemed Riley’s condition was improving.

"It’s been a bloody devastating week, to be honest, but today it’s been probably his best day for the week and he’s on a very very strong antibiotic now which, hopefully, has the infection under control."

There had been fears the infection could spread to Riley’s brain but he had  been given the all clear by a specialist, Mr Adams said.

Riley Adams
Riley Adams
All going well, the family should be able to travel back to Australia sometime this week.

"All his vital signs have been checked and everything is looking good and possibly later in the week, Wednesday or Thursday, as long as everything tracks, we can take him home."

Riley was a positive young man who would find a way to get through the situation he now found himself in, Mr Adams said.

A GoFundMe  page to help pay for Riley’s ongoing surgeries and treatment  had already passed the halfway mark of its $30,000 goal.

During their time in hospital, Mr Adams said the staff treating Riley had been "first class".

"In our eyes he has been their No1 priority, so we can’t speak more highly of them, to be honest."

Mr Adams said the support the family had received from both back home in Australia and people in Dunedin was overwhelming.

"I wouldn’t call myself and my wife really big on social media but the support from people we know and don’t know has been wonderful.

"It’s been great, all the wonderful things people have said about my son."

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

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