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Op opened my eyes to bright future.

A childhood operation to correct a squint changed the life journey of Shirley Muir.

Shirley, now 63, of Direlton, East Lothian, says she would not have become a confident, successful businesswoman had she not undergone the surgery.

And she admits she can't imagine how different her life might have turned out if her parents hadn't pushed doctors for her to have the squint repaired.

Your sight is precious, my mother said to me. She insisted I have my squint corrected.

One of my eyes was fixed in one corner and it made me look damaged.

She told me: "Afterwards, no one will call you names, my precious child."

I wore horrid pink glasses fixed around the back of my head with elastic and I hated it when boys called me four eyes or cross-eyed.

Sometimes, an adhesive patch blocked out the vision in my good eye to make the lazy eye work harder. As a result, I was not a self-assured child and I strove to please in everything I did.

My mother came to the hospital to visit, sat patiently at my bedside and squeezed my hand. She stroked my small fingers as if they were velvet. But then I panicked. I screamed: "Mummy, something bad has happened.

The doctors have made a mistake... there are things in my eye. It hurts. And mummy, my arms won't move...I'm paralysed!" The tears flowed again, salty rivulets dripping on to the bright white sheets.

TAUNTS Bullies targeted Shirley Mummy wiped away my tears. She said: "You're fine, my dearest child. Please don't cry or your stitches won't heal. Your eyes are beautifully straight but you musn't rub them."

She took hold of my hand and raised my arm so I could see it.

She said: "The doctor has wrapped bandages on your arms so they can't bend. That's all. He doesn't want you to scratch your eyes accidentally and undo the clever work he has done in the operating theatre."

Mummy brought a gift for me. She slipped a ring on to my child's finger, the little diamond glinted in the sunlight. I couldn't see the diamond but I saw the sparkle when I wobbled my finger.

A week later, I returned to school and my eyes were straight. No one looked at me with pity now.

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TAUNTS Bullies targeted Shirley

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 14, 2015
Words:393
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