Leopoldo was a very happy and healthy little boy. He hit all his developmental milestones and had perfect checks at his pediatricians office. However, when he was about three years old Leo’s mother, Kristal, started to noticed that he was touching one of his eyes quite often. She found it concerning, and worried it could be a sign of something more.
Kristal decided to play a game with him. She told Leo to close one eye and to tell her the color and shapes of different items in a book. He covered the eye that he had been touching so often and was able to name all his colors and shapes. Then Kristal asked him to cover the other eye. When this eye was covered, Leopoldo became very agitated. Kristal knew something was terribly wrong.
She started to research on her computer and discovered that a Glow could be present in flash photography when children having certain visual issues. She decided to look back at photos she had taken of Leo in the past. Kristal was shocked when she discovered a few photos that showed the Glow. Kristal was now very concerned and brought Leo immediately in to be examined.
After thorough examination, Kristal was told that Leopoldo has Coats’ Disease.
Coats’ Disease is a rare condition where the blood vessels behind the retina leak fluid into the back of the eye. There is no cure for Coats’, however there are treatments that can help prevent the progression of vision loss that accompanies the disease.
Leo started treatments for his disease right away. He has now been in treatment for two years. He has had 12 exams under anesthesia that at times included laser surgery treatments and injections. Just last October, Leo’s parents were informed his retina is re-attached, the leakage has stopped the residual fluid that had been collecting in his eye had begun to disappear! Leo now has limited peripheral vision in his Coats’-affected eye. Leo is scheduled for one more Exam Under Anesthesia (EUA) and Kristal is hopeful that this will be his last. If all goes well, Leo will just follow up with regular in-office doctor visits for monitoring.
Kristal says that it has been a long journey with many ups and downs. She says though that from the beginning they were prepared for a marathon, not a 100 meter dash. They were and are committed to do whatever is necessary to help save Leo’s vision.
Leo is now five years old and is an excellent student and loves to take part in many extracurricular activities.
His lack of vision in his right eye has not held him back in any way. Kristal is very glad that she listened to her mother’s intuition and paid attention to Leo’s body language. She wishes she had known of the “Glow” earlier and wants as many parents to be made aware as possible!