Sinus infection leaves teen blind in one eye

A Brisbane teenager is recovering in Dunedin Hospital after a sinus infection left him blind in one eye.

Riley Adams, 15, is an outgoing teenager. He's a talented rugby league player, wake-boarder and basketballer.

"He lights up the room wherever he is; he tends to be the centre of attention," says dad Jason, "just a beautiful kid."

But two days into a family cruise from Sydney to New Zealand, Riley fell ill. He went to bed with a headache and woke up with a bulge the size of a golf ball on his left eye. 

The ship's doctor gave him antibiotics, but it was a "scary" 24 hours for parents Jason and Jodi before the ship docked in Dunedin.

"That wait was very distressing to myself and my wife and Riley, due to the fact that it was certainly not getting better; it was actually getting worse."

In hospital the Adams were told a sinus infection had spread to his eye, causing "orbital cellulitis".

Despite undergoing two surgeries, the damage to Riley's eye was done. Pressure on the optic nerve had caused irreversible damage, and Riley had lost sight in that eye.

The athletic teen has been told he can no longer play contact sports, and his aspirations of being a pilot have been dashed.

"As a teenager everyone has dreams, and two of my son's dreams are out of the question now," says Mr Adams. 

A GoFundMe page to help the family with ongoing medical costs and rehabilitation has raised $14,000 in just three days.

The Adams hope Riley will be cleared to fly home next week