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Fayzah, 27

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Where are you from?

Syrian American

Tell me about yourself:

I’m a curriculum director at a preschool center. I love food, reading, and traveling!

Fayzah taking a selfie in the car. Her visual impairment journey.

What's your EYE story?

At 11 months old, something injured my right eye, but no one was around to see what it was. The optic nerve was damaged as well as the contents of the eye, and since then, I have had multiple surgeries ranging from lens transplants, cornea transplants, and a glaucoma tube transplant. The glaucoma was as high as 40-60mm, which caused more vision loss. There was no useful vision in the eye, only light. The pain from glaucoma and failing transplants caused pain regularly. In May 2021, as my new ophthalmologist was recommending a new cornea transplant, I made a joke about removing my eye, to which he responded, “Well, that’s an option.” So, I had an evisceration in October 2021, and voila, no more pain, risk of infection, or avoiding waves at the beach because the salt water stung my transplants. Just a new normal.

What has been the most challenging thing mentally?

I was homeschooled for the last three years of high school because of all the surgery and that tanked my mental health because I felt very isolated and alone. Worrying about the cost of healthcare in the US these past 6 years has also been difficult and played a significant role in my anxiety.

Fayzah without her prosthetic eye in. She's lifting up her top eye lid so you can see there is no eye and only the implant.
Fayzah without her prosthetic eye in.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

Accepting my appearance. It was harder because my culture placed a lot of emphasis on marriage and I wasn’t confident I would ever get to that point. But I have managed to move past those insecurities and see things in a healthier light. I only know what it’s like to see from one eye, so I don’t feel I’ve missed out on much!

Where are you now in your recovery?

I get my new prosthetic eye in January and I’m loving that there is no more pain! Very thankful for all the specialists involved 💛

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