Earl and Countess of Wessex Current Events 6: March-June 2005

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I found the original article:

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 29, 2005 p18
Sophie and Edward 'very worried' over Louise eye surgery dilemma.

Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2005 Solo Syndication Limited


THE Earl and Countess of Wessex are facing a growing dilemma over the health of their baby daughter.

Lady Louise Windsor was born with exotropia, a rare eye condition that requires surgery to correct it when permanent, as appears the case with Louise.

The Mail on Sunday understands that Edward and Sophie have been made aware she will need such an operation and that it should be carried out before her second birthday in November to maximise her chances of proper vision.

But the decision to go ahead with the surgery is one that Edward and Sophie have yet to make.

According to one well-placed source: 'Louise is now 19 months and has been old enough for the operation for some time but Sophie is understandably very worried about the prospect of her baby having an operation and in particular having a general anaesthetic.'

Exotropia is a divergent squint in which one eye turns outwards. To correct it the muscles on either side of the eye are adjusted to bring it back to the centre.

Louise has already undergone a string of tests during the first months of her life to rule out any sinister cause for the squint.

Dr Nick Astbury, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and a leading paediatric eye surgeon, said: 'You've got to be a bit careful and think about the underlying cause of any squint. It may just be one of those things, or there may be a family history, or there may be something badly wrong with the eye so you have to investigate all these things and rule them out before taking the next step.

'If it's permanent then you have to think about surgery and once you've established there's nothing sinister behind it you would generally wait until it was safe to do an anaesthetic which is any time after six months'

Louise, eighth in line to the throne, was a much longed-for child for Edward and Sophie, who suffered the heartbreak of an ectopic pregnancy two years before Louise was conceived She was born four weeks prematurely in an emergency caesarean operation during which Sophie's life was in peril. She lost nine pints of blood through internal bleeding and was said to be just 20 minutes from death.

To Sophie's distress her daughter who weighed just 4lb 9oz, had to be transferred almost immediately for specialist care at St George's Hospital, in Tooting, South London, while she had to remain 35 miles away in Frimley Hospital, Surrey, for another 16 days.

Sophie has told friends recently that she is trying to step back a bit from public life and confine herself as much as possible to duties close to home, prompting speculation that she and Edward are trying for another baby.

One associate said: 'Sophie and Edward are besotted with Louise.

Sophie is 40 and though she's incredibly young-looking, she's conscious of her age. Trying for another child is certainly something she has mentioned.'

The past few months have been a remarkably stressful time for Sophie, who has borne her troubles with the sort of stoical reserve that has seen her win both the Queen's approval and affection.

As well as the worry over Louise's treatment, her mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, 71, underwent surgery to remove a tumour from her colon last week. She is recuperating in Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells.

But according to one friend: 'Sophie is a pragmatic and tough girl. She'll get through whatever has to be done. She's been through some rough times before.

'She may very well be anxious but she won't show it and she won't shy away from making difficult decisions.' Last night a spokesperson for the Earl and Countess refused to comment, saying only: 'Lady Louise is a minor and as such I'm afraid we don't make any comments in relation to her.'
Oh my God!Poor little Louise and the wessexes.I wish they would recover and everything well to Louise.
Yesterday the Countess of Wessex visited the Chase garden's progress for the Hampton Court Flower Show at Merrist Wood College, Guildford, Surrey.Anyone see pics yet?
oh. Louise is so young to have an operation. just hope everything will be alright. good luck.
HMQueenElizabethII said:
Yesterday the Countess of Wessex visited the Chase garden's progress for the Hampton Court Flower Show at Merrist Wood College, Guildford, Surrey.Anyone see pics yet?

There's this little picture and blurb from the Surrey Advertiser ... but other than that, I haven't seen anything yet ...

Source: http://www.surreyad.co.uk/news/?article15371

Countess checks on growing achievement


The Countess of Wessex hears about Merrist Wood’s garden from the chief executive of CHASE, Chris Robinson. Picture: Darren Pepe.

PREPARATIONS for the Merrist Wood’s entry into this summer’s Hampton Court Flower Show was given the royal seal approval on Wednesday.

The Countess of Wessex visited the campus at Guildford College to see the garden that is being built by students on behalf of CHASE Hospice Care for Children charity.

The countess is royal patron of the charity and saw the preparations for the garden which has been named Journey of the Senses.

CHASE public relations manager, Christine Napthine, came up with the idea of entering the charity into the world’s biggest flower show, being held in July.

Sponsorship for it has come from Standard Life Healthcare, while Mrs Napthine made the approach to Merrist Wood to create the garden as the campus has claimed 36 medals at Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) shows.

RHS members will get the first chance to see Journey of the Senses on July 5 and 6 at Hampton Court Flower Show. The show is open to the public from July 7 to 10.
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