Aubrey’s Story

Posted on 2016-07-13

Aubrey was only 11 months old when her mother, Jennifer, noticed an over-growth in the white portion of her eye. Soon after, Jennifer also noticed that Aubrey’s eye turned slightly inward. Concerned, Jennifer took Aubrey to an ophthalmologist. This doctor dismissed her concerns and said that Aubrey’s vision was fine. Jennifer did not accept this diagnosis, as she knew in her heart there was something more. She took Aubrey back every six months to have her vision checked, and at each appointment her vision became a little worse.

Jennifer noticed that Aubrey had a difficult time balancing and felt she struggled with depth perception. Years passed by without diagnosis. When Aubrey was about 5 years old another symptom developed. Jennifer started to notice a glow in Aubrey’s eyes with flash photography. Knowing this could be a sign of something more, Jennifer took her to be examined again. Once again, the doctors dismissed her concerns. But Jennifer refused to ignore her “mother’s intuition.”

She was determined to find a doctor who would listen and take her concerns seriously. She found that person with Dr. Hammond at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. Dr. Hammond took her very seriously and spent many hours with the family performing several tests. He determined that Aubrey had dense Amblyopia and an irregular astigmatism with an optic nerve that was not fully formed. 

Jennifer was relieved to have finally been given a diagnosis but was quickly heartbroken to learn that she had missed the critical years for treatment. Had Aubrey been properly diagnosed in the earlier stages, there may have been treatment to improve her condition. However, now at the age of 7 and with vision of 20/800 in one eye, there was nothing they could do. Jennifer is glad she did not ignore her “mother’s intuition” and fought until she found a doctor who would take her concerns seriously. She is determined to help spread awareness of childhood vision disorders and to encourage other mothers to listen and act on their own “mother’s intuition.” She knows all too well the importance of early diagnosis.