Child’s Facebook picture leads to diagnosis of rare eye condition

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Like many parents, Tara Taylor posted a picture of her 3-year-old daughter Rylee on Facebook to show to friends.  She had no idea, however, how it would one day end up helping Rylee.

WREG-TV reported the picture showed Rylee’s left eye glowing.

While most people would have thought it was caused by the flash, two of Taylor’s friends told her she might want to have a doctor take a look at her eye.

“They said ‘Hey, I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s probably the lighting, but your daughter’s eye is glowing and you might want to have it checked out because it’s a sign there could be an issue with her eye,’” said Taylor.

Rlyee was taken to her pediatrician and later to a retina specialist with Baptist Eye Clinic.

She was diagnosed with Coat’s disease.  It’s a rare condition that causes vision loss or blindness in one eye.

Dr. Jorge Calzada with the Charles Retina Institute and Baptist Eye Clinic said the earlier they can treat children, the better.

“The significant problem we have with children is that a child won’t say, ‘Mommy, I can’t see out of my right eye.’ It is usually caught in an expected way. When a child recognizes he cannot see or the parent recognizes they cannot see, it’s often because they’ve lost vision in both eyes,” said Dr. Calzada.

Taylor said she had no indication her daughter was having any trouble seeing.

In fact, she says it was quite the opposite.

“She didn’t sit close to the TV. She is actually in gymnastics and can walk on the balance beam,” said Taylor.

She’s grateful to the friends who pointed out the potential problem.

Baptist received a $550,000 grant from the Baptist Memorial Health Care foundation toopen its ‘state of the art’ eye clinic at the Women’s Hospital.

The eye clinic treats children and even premature babies.


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