Andres’ Story

Posted on 2016-04-13

Five years ago, two-year-old Andres was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease. His mother, April, noticed “The Glow” in photos from time to time, but never consistently. So she discounted “The Glow” as do most parents. It wasn’t until Andres was in the backseat of the car, and the interior light caused his eye to glow that she started to really pay close attention. Some online research led April to information about Retinoblastoma, and she immediately started calling the pediatrician and a half dozen pediatric ophthalmologists. Her pediatrician said she should really have Andres checked by an eye doctor. Two pediatric opthamologists wanted her to wait two months for an appointment. Another even laughed in the background when the nurse suggested that April was worried about cancer based on a photograph with “The Glow.” Fortunately, April did not give up. She found her way to a doctor at Carle Hospital insisted they come in within 45 minutes. They drove to his office and he said it was either Coats’ or Retinoblastoma. He referred them to Dr. Kahr at Springfield Clinic an hour and a half away. At Dr. Kahr’s office Andres’ was examined and then referred to St. Louis Children’s Hospital the very next day. One week later Dr. Leuder completed an EUA, and Coats’ Disease treatment started with six rounds of cryotherapy and one round of laser surgery. On their eight treatment Dr. Leuder announced that Andres’ Coats’ disease was now inactive and treatment was no longer needed. Following treatment Andres began daily patching. While he only has peripheral vision in his affected eye, he manages beautifully with non-prescription prescription glasses for protection. Today he enjoys sports and playing with his siblings! April is so grateful for the one glimpse into his eye that convinced her not to take “No” for an answer, and encouraged her to keep knocking on doors until she found answers. She’s hopeful that in sharing Andres’ story more children might be found and more mothers will have the conviction to follow their intuition!

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