Happy Book Week!! Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.
Eight-year-old Brooklyn has been a patient of the RCH’s since was born. Despite being legally blind, Brooklyn is still an avid reader who hasn’t let her vision stand in the way of her love for reading.
At only 24 hours old, baby Brooklyn was taken to the RCH’s operating theatres to have surgery on congenital glaucoma in both of her eyes. Congenital glaucoma is a rare eye condition where high pressure builds up inside the eye resulting in vision loss in children, it’s a condition she also shares with two of her older sisters.
Despite undergoing more than 30 surgeries in her short life, including four cornea transplants, Brooklyn now uses a range of aids to help her read, including learning braille and using a magnifier with a light.
“Brooklyn’s love for reading started when she was about two. We were sent braille books and toys that together help children with vision loss learn how to read. Her older sister also loves books, so when Brooklyn started kinder and school, they would often go to the library together. We’ve always had a massive collection of books at home, so they have always had access to books and are encouraged to read them,” said Tenila, Brooklyn’s mum.
Although Brooklyn is legally blind, she does still have some vision. What an average person can see 60 metres away, Brooklyn needs to be six metres away, however the vision she does have still isn’t clear.
“As she does still have some vision, Brooklyn would rather attempt to try and read what she can. We don’t know what’s going to happen with her vision in the future, so she is currently in the process of learning to feel with her fingers to support her reading down the track.”
Brooklyn loves to imagine she is in the stories she’s reading. Her favourite book is The Magic is in You, a book filled with uplifting and inspirational quotes, encouraging readers of all ages to believe in themselves in any situation.
The Magic is in You focuses on moments of perseverance and resilience in Disney’s main characters, a fitting book for Brooklyn as she always tackles life with positivity.
“I love reading books because I get to use my magnifier & my iPad. Even though I am blind, I still love books just like any other kid. Everyone should be able to read books because it’s so fun,” said Brooklyn.
Is your child celebrating Book Week this week?