Diagnosis: Coats’ Disease
When Michael, “Mikey,” was born, a doctor checked his eyes, and everything looked perfect. In the coming months however, his mother, Dana, found something to be just a little “off” in Mikey’s photos. She could not describe exactly what she noticed, but her intuition was telling her something was wrong. During Mikey’s two-month checkup the pediatrician noticed that he didn’t have a redeye reflex in his right eye. The family was sent to see a specialist to determine why this was occurring. This doctor told Dana that Mikey had a torn retina and that he had no vision in his right eye. She was not given any course of action. Frustrated with this diagnosis, Dana took Mikey to other doctors to determine whether something could be done to improve her son’s condition. Finally, when Mikey was 18 months old, she found an ophthalmologist who gave her some answers. Doctors evaluated Mikey under anesthesia and discovered he had Coats’ Disease. His retina was completely detached by this time. At just 1 1/2 years of age, this was the earliest case of Coats’ that her ophthalmologist had seen. Within two months, Mikey was showing signs of severe pain. He was crying and rubbing his eyes constantly. Dana took him back to the specialist, who found that Mikey had developed Glaucoma as well as a cataract in his same eye. His Coats’ was not only very early in development but also very progressive. Since then, Mikey has been on a regimen of three eye drops every day. One is to control pain, one to reduce swelling and the third to keep the eye dilated in hopes to introduce as much oxygen as possible. They have been told that Mikey may someday need to enucleate his right eye. For now, his eye is stable. Mikey is no longer in any pain and is a very happy and active 3-year-old boy!