RJ entered this world quite dramatically in May 2020. It was a rough 22 hours for me (mum) and RJ but he came into this world happy and healthy.
We stayed in hospital overnight and the next day one of the doctors came to do an all over check of RJ. When it came to shining the torch in his little eyes, the doctor noticed something wasn’t right. He went to get another doctor to double check and they both agreed RJ had a “complete black out” in his right eye. They explained to us that RJ had no red reflex in that eye and further investigation would be needed.
Twelve days later we were taking RJ to the ophthalmologist clinic at the children’s hospital. During the COVID pandemic, only one parent was allowed in the room at a time. I took RJ in for the eye drops which dilated his eye, my poor boy screamed and cried and I couldn’t handle taking him in for the examination so dad did that part. When I saw the doctor come out into the waiting room to get me, I knew the news wouldn’t be good. I sat down with my husband and baby boy while the doctor told us RJ was born with a cataract in his right eye and of course the tears started. The surgeon came in to speak with us, but I barely took in anything she was saying other than our baby boy would need surgery.
At 8 weeks old, our boy had the surgery to remove the cataract/lens in his right eye and our journey officially began. I never knew there were so many different types of eye drops!
Soon after surgery we started seeing an optometrist for contact lenses (and glasses for back up) and started regular visits with the ophthalmology clinic.
At age 1, RJ now wears a contact lens and patches 6 hours a day... well, more like 3-4 hours a day now that he’s old enough to take the patch off himself.
RJ has had some complications since surgery. He reacted to the solution we were cleaning the contacts in, he has glaucoma (high pressures) which is currently managed with eye drops and his eye turns in. We recently made the decision to do the surgery to straighten his eye which is next up on our journey
We are so, so grateful to the doctor who picked up RJ’s eye the day after he was born. So many times, things like this can go missed.
It’s a hard journey and one that will be lifelong for our boy, but we will do the best we can and take it day by day.
Looking at RJ and seeing how happy he is all the time – you wouldn’t think he has been through so much!