Belfast Telegraph

Belfast boy's battle with eye condition to feature in Paul O'Grady's Great Ormond Street Hospital series

Lucas at GOSH
Lucas at GOSH
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

A young boy from Belfast suffering from a rare eye condition will feature in a UTV series fronted by Paul O'Grady at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Two-year-old Lucas Palmer will appear on Paul O’Grady’s Little Heroes after he was diagnosed with a detached retina caused by Coat’s disease earlier this year after his mum Caitlin noticed he had developed a squint.

The condition is so rare that only one in every 100,000 people develops the disease.

Lucas was required to undergo specialist care and was referred to Great Ormond Street to receive laser surgery.

The television show will follow the lives of some of the 600 children and their families from across the UK who attend the hospital.

Throughout his care Lucas’ parents stayed in Great Ormond Street’s parent accommodation, so they could be just minutes away during their son’s treatment and recovery.

Explaining it was completely unexpected for his family, mum Caitlin said: “Lucas’ diagnosis came out of the blue, it’s not a genetic condition or anything, so it was a lot to take in.

Series presenter Paul O'Grady
Series presenter Paul O'Grady

“Travelling such a long way from home for treatment was nerve-racking, but when I found out our accommodation was just across the road from the hospital, and that one parent could stay with Lucas overnight on his ward too, I was so relieved.

“Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital has been so wonderful, so attentive and I’ve always felt really at ease,” Caitlin added.

Following his operation, Lucas’ recovered well as the surgery was non-invasive.

“When he woke up his eye was just a little red, whereas I was imaging something much worse,” his mother said.

“But his surgeon was just amazing and I was really pleased with the treatment.

“Lucas’ clinical team did what they had to do, in the best way for Lucas. They saved his eye.”

Paul O’Grady’s Little Heroes will provide a unique insight in to one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals and the lives of the brave and resilient children who are treated there every day. 

Viewers will also have the opportunity to get to know the dedicated staff who care for and treat children from across the UK who have some of the most serious and complex conditions. Paul O’Grady brings his unique blend of warmth and humour to the hospital as he meets a number of children who travel to the London hospital from all corners of the United Kingdom, with each 30-minute episode focusing on two to three children and their journey through their specialist and pioneering treatment. 

Hear their stories and those of the incredible staff who care for them on Paul O’Grady’s Little Heroes tomorrow at 8.30pm on UTV.

Caitlin Palmer with son Lucas
Caitlin Palmer with son Lucas

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