When little Liberty Collins was lying on the changing table as a newborn baby, her dad looked into her eyes and noticed they were open, even as the sun shone directly into them.
“That’s when I knew something was wrong,” Dwayne Collins, Liberty's dad, told news.com.au.
Dwayne and wife Ashleigh took little Liberty to a specialist, who told them she had a condition called micropthalmia, meaning one of her eyes is abnormally small.
This diagnosis meant that she would need a prosthetic “conformer” fitted over her small eye every three to six months, in order to help her face grow evenly.
According to Dwayne, the first specialist that the family saw refused to listen when they tried to explain Libby’s unique combination of health issues, and the second put too much product in her eye to make the mould, leaving her "writhing in agony".
“It sucked on to her eyeball, he panicked and tried to pull it out. I told him not to. We had to go to hospital. She pushed me and two nurses off her. My wife could hear screaming,” said Dwayne.
Following this traumatic experience, Dwayne decided to take matters into his own hands, and started making prosthetic eyes for little Liberty.
“I don’t think any parent wants to see their child in pain. You do what you do for the kids. I made a decision she wasn’t going through that.”
The father-of-two admits that Liberty is "really bad still when I put her eye in or take it out to clean. I walk off and have a cry sometimes."
Dwayne has started a crowd-funding project to fund a trip to the UK to train with an acrylic eye pioneer and become a professional, with the hopes of ultimately opening a clinic in his home town.