‘We would like to say thank you for all the fantastic care that you have given our daughter over the past few years. She and we are so pleased that she is now pain free and hopefully her malformation won’t bother her again in the future.’

Parents of a teenager with a venous malformation, 2017

‘I wanted to thank you for being so available during our son’s treatment, even whilst on holiday. Your constant communication has been such a reassurance to us and I suspect this whole episode would have been a great deal more stressful without you. So thank you, I can’t tell you how much we have appreciated you!’

Mother of a 2 yo boy undergoing sclerotherapy, 2017

‘Dr Alex is really nice. She helps to makes me feel brave.’

Aisha, aged 9

‘Our son has had sclerotherapy done by Dr Barnacle several times over the last four years. Coming to Great Ormond Street was stressful at the start but now we know what to expect and the day goes quite quickly. We get to see Dr Barnacle before the procedure and ask our questions and she is always welcoming and reassuring. She calls us a few days after the procedure to check our son is doing ok. He is making good progress and although we know sclerotherapy is not a cure, the treatments help him to lead a normal life.’

Carl, father of a teenager with a venous malformation, 2016

‘When we met Dr Barnacle, it was so reassuring to be told exactly what the problem was that our daughter had, and what could be done about it. We had seen so many other doctors who told us completely different things – it was so confusing. She was really good at explaining things and letting us ask questions. We felt like we were in safe hands.’

Sarah, mother of a toddler with a vascular malformation,2016

‘Kacey was diagnosed with orbital lymphangioma (these were cysts behind the eye filled with fluid causing the eye to bulge) when she was 2 and a half years old. Before we were referred to Doctor Barnacle we had been on an emotional roller coaster. Kacey had numerous operations at local hospitals which seemed to make the condition worse.

It was a huge relief to meet Doctor Barnacle, finally a person who knew something about our daughter’s condition and how to treat it. Right from our first meeting, Doctor Barnacle and her team have always been caring, sympathetic and listened to both Kacey and ourselves, making sure Kacey was as comfortable as possible.

When Doctor Barnacle has seen us on the ward after the operation she has always told us how the operation had gone and what we should expect, she is never in a rush and answers any questions we may have. Our daughter has been a patient of Doctor Barnacle for over four years now. The results from the operations have been amazing, from an eye that bulged to the extent that it couldn’t move, was permanently open and was unable to blink, to an eye that almost looks normal. After every operation there as been swelling and our daughter as been in some discomfort, it doesn’t matter how many times you go through it, the feelings still stay the same for us as parents …

The shock of how she looks after the operation and seeing her in pain makes you feel sick and anxious because you can’t do anything to help her. However everything possible is done to ensure that she is in as little pain as possible. The results aren’t instant as it takes a few weeks for the swelling to subside, it’s a long process, but the end results for us so far have been brilliant. All thanks to Doctor Barnacle and her team.’

Amanda, Kacey’s mother, 2014

‘The information and advice you provided was very helpful, also, since the first moment we entered your office you were very friendly and supportive. Not only this, you are also very approachable and professional at the same time whilst explaining things at a level that my family and I could understand.’

Andrew, patient with a lymphatic malformation, 2014

My daughter has a lymphatic malformation of her orbit. The first I knew about it was one morning, about a week before her second birthday when I got her up from her cot in the morning and her eyes, particularly the right one, appeared to be sticking out.

She saw many doctors and other eye specialists before we were told that she had hardly any vision in her right eye and a lymphatic malformation which they called a lymphangioma. Most doctors she saw said that there was nothing that could be done but I heard about Dr Barnacle who had just started using sclerotherapy for such conditions.

We met Dr Barnacle at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She carefully explained about lymphatic malformations and sclerotherapy and made sure that we understood all that was involved. Sclerotherapy might reduce the chance of further bleeding or infections. It was clear that in my daughter’s case, as the lesion was so close to the nerves of her eye, there were possible risks to her eyesight. We were given time to go away and consider our decision in the light of our discussion. My daughter was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on the day of the procedure and had a few final scans and check-ups before her anaesthetic. We were very worried about any further damage to her eyesight during the procedure and extremely relieved when she woke up, screaming and complaining that one of the characters painted on the wall looked “scary”. She made a very quick recovery. It is now 2 years later. Having sclerotherapy has meant that we have had the confidence to go abroad on holiday, without feeling that we need to be within easy reach of a specialist eye hospital. Since the procedure there has been only one eye problem – a minor infection which was treated with antibiotics from the GP and quickly settled.

I was initially a bit disappointed to find out that her eyesight hadn’t improved but I fully understood that was not the main aim of the sclerotherapy and it has actually even improved a little since then.

As well as being an expert in her field, Dr Barnacle has been approachable and happy to answer as many questions as I needed to ask. I have always had the utmost confidence that my daughter was in the very best hands.

Helen, mother of 5 yo girl with an orbital malformation, 2014