Sunderland Today (UK).
Tuesday, April 04, 2006.
BEST-SELLING crime writer Sheila Quigley has spoken of her torment after she found she was going blind.
But today she claimed her sight had been saved by a "miracle" eye drop cure - though opticians remain unconvinced of the benefits of the Bright Eyes drops.
Mum-of-four Sheila, 58, from Shiney Row, went from rags to riches after clinching two £300,000 book deals when publishers spotted her flair for crime writing.
Diabetic Sheila has regular eye checks, and in 2004 her optician told her she had the beginnings of a cataract. In the following months her eyesight deteriorated, leaving her virtually unable to see the keys on her computer.
Sheila said: "All I could think was I have finally got what I want after all these years and I'm going to go blind.
"I was seeing through a fog. There had been a slow decline at first and then a sharp drop in what I could see.
"I thought all the keys had faded off my computer keyboard."
The cataract on her right eye was first diagnosed early in 2004, and then one on her left eye.
Sheila, of Ross Lea, Shiney Row, finished writing Living On A Prayer - her third novel out this week - with her nose up against the computer screen.
Consultants at Sunderland Eye Infirmary told her she would need surgery to remove the cataracts.
But fearing that the operation could go wrong and she would lose her sight, Sheila began to search for an alternative cure.
Combing the Internet she stumbled across Bright Eyes eye drops which had been featured on TV - but are not licensed in the UK as a cataract cure.
Gran of eight Sheila said: "I was nervous at first, but after only the third day I woke up and everything was so much brighter. I was in tears. I was thrilled.
"After six weeks I had taken a giant leap forward. Thing were so much clearer. I began to realise how old people looked - including me."
Now after using Bright Eyes eye drops daily, Sheila, has cancelled the op. Three weeks ago Sheila saw her consultant.
She said: "I was at the hospital for my four monthly check-up and when I was there the last time I wasn't able to read some of the things.
"This time I could read. The consultant said my eyes have started healing themselves at the back.
"He said I should still have my cataract surgery, but I have refused."
A statement on the N-acetyl-carnosine eye drops by David Wong, chairman of the Scientific Committee of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, says the long-term effects are unknown and more research is needed into their safety and effects."
However, Sheila said an independent optician had told her they were safe.
End of article.
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