Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ice Rink Special for Girl Who Lost Her Sight

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ice Rink Special for Girl Who Lost Her Sight

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Hodgson Reporter

KIND?HEARTED staff at Newcastle's Centre for Life gave Chloe Gorringe, who is registered blind, her first ever whirl around an ice rink after they opened the annual attraction especially for her.

Chloe, 13, who lives in Sunderland with mum Tracey Pescod, step-dad Gary and younger sister Courtney, suffers from Sengers Syndrome, a very rare condition which has robbed her of her sight, and she had just attended one of her regular hospital appointments when her mother decided on an impromptu visit to Life to cheer them both up.

Tracey had been left upset after a meeting with a stand-in doctor, and says: "We came out of the hospital and I said to Chloe 'I tell you what, shall we spend the day together and go the Life centre' where she'd been before with the school."

It was there that a staff member called Fiona noticed Tracey upset and during a chat invited them to try out their outdoor ice rink, which is installed there every year for the festive period, even though it was not due to open until the next day.

Then another worker called Nicola helped guide Chloe around the ice, with lots of encouragement.

"They were lovely," says Tracey, and it made a real difference to a day where she'd failed to receive answers to questions about her daughter's condition.

The 36-year-old already struggles with many unknowns about Sengers Syndrome, which took more than 11 years to be properly diagnosed in her daughter. Chloe was born with congenital cataracts and Tracey first noticed something was wrong "when I looked into her eyes. She had tiny white dots in them".

The baby had her first operation within days to remove the cataracts, to be followed by others including a six-hour one at just months old to remove a bulge, a form of spina bifida, from the back of her neck. …

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