When Debbie Steed was just eight months old, her aunt noticed her eye appeared cloudy. She was not sure what it was, or even if it was normal but Debbie’s parents vigilantly took her to have her eyes examined. At eight months of age, the doctors were able to clearly see Debbie had a cataract in her left eye. At that time, the doctors suggested she just get her eye checked every year to see if there were any changes.
Debbie grew up with her siblings, playing endlessly with them and never feeling as though anything was different about her vision. Her right eye was able to compensate mostly for the vision she had lost in her left eye, although she had a bit of a blind spot in her periphery. Debbie knew she looked different though, and throughout her childhood she often felt self-conscious about her eye.
At the age of 20, Debbie made the decision to get the cataract removed from her left eye to help with the appearance of her eye. When Debbie’s son was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and needed to have surgery, Debbie also underwent an eye surgery to tighten the muscles of her eye and correct her left eye from wandering. Debbie currently wears glasses to continue to protect her good eye.
Recently while on Facebook, Debbie connected with a group for PHPV (Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous). Debbie has been researching the disease and realizes that this is what she has had since she was a baby. The cloudiness that her aunt had noticed, also created leukocoria in the eye, showing a white glow in many childhood pictures. She has been comforted by the online community and feels that it is important to let parents know that their children can, and will, have wonderful lives, even with an eye disease or other vision issues.