The parents of little Caydan Ziemba, 1 year old, immortalized the moment when their daughter was able to see them for the first time — and the scenes couldn’t be more moving. The baby, who has a rare condition that makes her partially blind, was given special glasses and was finally able to see them, squealing, laughing and jumping for joy. Pure happiness!
- “My wife says he has ‘special’ eyes, but I don’t agree,” says father
“It was a really emotional moment for us and for her because we were all together, like a family,” said mother, Michelle Ziemba, 31, from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in the United States. “It feels like she is experiencing a normal childhood now and that makes us happy every day,” she said.
Michelle and her partner, Eric, 32, suspected something was wrong with Caydan’s vision when she was just 3 months old. They noticed that their daughter did not react to objects or people, even a few centimeters away from her face.
The family sought help from a pediatrician and then an ophthalmologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. The suspicion was that the little girl had a problem with her retina. The investigations continued, with several tests. When Caydan started attending daycare, she couldn’t adapt. According to her mother, this happened because she couldn’t see the environment around her.
In September this year, Caydan underwent an electroretinogram (ERG) test, which uses flashes of light to test retinal activity. The examination determined that there was no function in any of the ‘cones’ responsible for color vision in her eyes. From this, doctors discovered that the girl has a rare genetic condition, called achromatopsia, which makes it extremely difficult to see, as her eyes are not able to separate colors — the little girl can only see shades of white and gray and is very sensitive. the light. Achromatopsia is associated with another problem, which was also identified in Caydan, called nystagmus, which causes repetitive, involuntary eye movements and leads to blurred vision.
After this rare diagnosis, Caydan’s parents, with the help of the hospital and the ophthalmologist, managed to create red lenses, which help to filter some of the light, creating a more defined color contrast in everything the girl sees. . Now, with corrective lenses, Caydan can see better and, consequently, feel more comfortable with the environments and people around her.
For her mother, Michelle, who is a teacher, the difference was immediately noticeable and she says her daughter is much happier. “The glasses made her excited, happy and helped her to have confidence. She’s a confident little girl in general, but feeling comfortable in all environments makes everything a little easier. With her glasses on, she can tell the difference. If she’s sitting at the table and hears the door open and someone comes in, now she can see who it is right away, which she couldn’t do before,’ says the mother.
“Around a year, she started eating more independently. Being able to tell what each thing was was a little more difficult for her. Now, with the glasses, she can see the food in front of her face a little better. Surprisingly, vision has not been a barrier to her ability to learn from it. It has been a small barrier to her adaptive skills, such as using utensils, and also to her coordination, balance and some other motor skills. In terms of learning and intellect, she has truly thrived regardless of the diagnosis. So, this is something that has been really exciting”, celebrated the mother.
His father, Eric, who is also a teacher, has appreciated all the comments people have sent since they shared the family’s story online and hopes Caydan continues to make progress. “We were so excited and blessed by everyone’s overall support,” he said. “She has been a learning experience for us. People who have had children with similar conditions, or themselves, have given us some tips through channels like TikTok. We still want her to feel more comfortable outdoors because we love the outdoors. This work is ongoing,” she highlighted.
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