Mercy Grace’s Story

Posted on 2016-04-13

Mercy Grace’s family has a long history of vision issues, mainly Bilateral Congenital Cataracts. At the time of her birth, her mother, Jessica, and her doctors were very concerned that Mercy may also have a condition to address.  They watched her very closely and examined her eyes for any potential issues.  For the first two weeks, it seemed as though Mercy Grace had no problems at all.  Jessica was relieved but still on high alert.

The day before Mercy’s two-week appointment, Jessica saw a white spot in Mercy’s pupil when the sun hit it from the window.  Jessica brought it up to Mercy’s pediatrician the next day.  The doctor checked her eyes, and he, too, saw the white mark and referred her to a specialist that very same day.  The specialist confirmed Jessica’s fears and diagnosed Mercy with Bilateral Congenital Cataracts. The specialist had seen only one other case in an infant during her entire career, so she suggested they give it time to see how it developed.

Instead of waiting, Jessica set up an appointment with St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  Children’s confirmed the diagnosis of Bilateral Congenital Cataracts when Mercy was exactly 1 month old. Mercy’s parents scheduled surgery for six and seven weeks later to have a Lensectomy done in both eyes. Mercy was 10 and 11 weeks old for her first two surgeries and has since had a series of eight surgeries for various conditions related to the cataracts (IOL placement strabismus, muscle surgery, scar tissue removal, etc.).

Mercy is now 3 ½-years-old and is doing great.  She developed some amblyopia in her right eye and is currently using eye patches to hopefully correct some of that vision loss. While she has difficulty seeing at night, has a hard time with surface changes, impaired lower field of vision and loss of periphery, her overall vision is quite good.  Jessica is very glad that she did not take a “wait and see” approach and pushed until she found answers.  Her determination may have very well saved Mercy’s vision.

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