Young Australian teacher details how she went blind on a Greek holiday


It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime. Bouncing around the Greek Islands and cruising along the Italian coastline in the ultimate European summer adventure.

But for Australian primary school teacher, Elise Osmand, the joy of overseas travel was brought to a sudden halt when one morning, she woke up without most of her eye sight.

The 28-year-old put her vision loss down to a combination of jet lag and a big night out on the town. She was otherwise seemingly healthy and had no other symptoms.

“My vision felt like I had foundation in my eye,” Ms Osmand explained to

“I wasn’t in pain … and I could see from the bottom of my right eye. But the top half was blurred to a dark brown, so I couldn’t see properly.”

Being diagnosed in Greece on holiday, Osmand said her “whole world came crumbling down.” Photo: Supplied, Instagram via

Ms Osmand and her travel buddies were in a rush to get to the airport so instead of seeking immediate medical attention, she decided to continue her travels to Athens and see how she felt in 24 hours.

“When I woke up the next day… my sight was completely gone in my right eye,” she says, explaining that she still had 20/20 vision in her left.

It was at this stage that Ms Osmand decided to source an English-speaking doctor close to her accommodation in Athens. He initially told her she had a brain tumour.

“Then the next thing he said was…’you don’t have a brain tumour… but it could be cancer.’ That’s when things freaked me out,” Ms Osmand explains.

In the end, he gave the young Australian a diagnosis that has changed her life forever. Ms Osmand was told she had Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Osmand says her lifestyle has changed significantly since her diagnosis. Photo: Supplied, Instagram via

“The only thing I knew about that was a wheelchair,” she says.

“At first I got upset about it… it was a really confronting moment. It felt like my world had come crumbling down… a death sentence.”

READ MORE: Nick Dimos finally arrives in Russia for life-saving Multiple Sclerosis treatment.

MS is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves, resulting in disrupted communication between the brain and the body.

Currently, 10 Australians are diagnosed with MS every week with the majority of those diagnosed being young women around a similar age to Ms Osmand.

Ms Osmand was diagnosed in 2019. Her vision returned four months later but she says she quickly began to experience other symptoms related to the diagnosis, including hypersensitivity to touch and severe fatigue.

“I have always been very active and would do a lot of exercise. Now, while it’s still really good for me to do, it can trigger symptoms and drain me to a point I can’t recover from. So I have to stay hydrated and cool,” she tells the Australian media outlet.

Ms Osmand said the fatigue factor has been the hardest symptom to live with, especially as it often leads to cancelling plans at the last minute.

But she still hopes that her early diagnosis and effective treatment plan will reduce the likelihood of more complicated symptoms down the track.

“Some days are crippling and I can’t get out of bed the entire day,” Ms Osmand says.

“There’s no guarantee I won’t have issues with other areas, but I may not get to the wheelchair stage. Getting on treatment is the most important thing you can do and early detection. You can’t fix damage but you can at least prevent further ones.”

READ MORE: ‘Just trying to be in my kids’ lives’: Dimitris Garbas’ MS diagnosis and fight for life.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Music from the Heart: Dimitris Basis unites with Newtown Performing Arts High School

Greek singer Dimitris Basis is set to perform on Tuesday, June 4 with students from the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.

Samian Brotherhood of Sydney & NSW donate to Samos hospitals

The Samian Brotherhood of Sydney and New South Wales 'Lykourgos' have donated to two Samos hospitals. Read more here.

Sale process ongoing for Hellenic Village’s $117.5 million property at Austral

The sale process for the Hellenic Village's 105-acre, $117.5 million property at Gurner Avenue in Austral, NSW is ongoing.

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos named in Socceroos squad for World Cup qualifier

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos has been named named in the 25-man squad for Australia’s upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026™ Qualifiers.

EU and Australia enhance cooperation on critical raw materials

The European Union (EU) and Australia have enhance cooperation on critical raw materials after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday,...

You May Also Like

‘Greek Music On Six Strings’ to premiere in Sydney with Manolis Androulidakis

Greek musician Manolis Androulidakis is performing at the Verbrugghen Hall of the Conservatorium of Music on Sunday 17 March 2024, at 5 pm.

Beaches evacuated as fire breaks out in Mani, Lakonia

Strong fire-fighting forces were deployed on Sunday afternoon to put out a fire that broke out in the Agios Kyprianos area of Eastern Mani,...

Southwest Sydney tradie Jim Barmakellis on the construction industry shutdown

Jim Barmakellis says he’s making the most of the shutdown with 'extracurricular activities' with his sons but is keen to go back to work.