Your stories – “I once was blind, but now I see”

Thank you so much to Crystal, for sharing her son Grant’s story. You can read more of Crystal’s writing and more about Grant at her blog, Sight Restored. -Ann Z

I could probably make an accurate guess that most of us have heard the story in the Bible where Jesus heals the blind man. I have heard the story a million times, but for the first time ever I have wondered how the blind man’s mother must have felt.

The weekend after our son, Grant, turned 2 months old, my husband and I started noticing this rapid movement with his eyes. We had noticed earlier that he wasn’t focusing that well. Having an older child, we knew that he should already be focusing but we also knew different children develop at different rates. We assumed he was just a late focuser before this point. This weekend was much worse though, and I was worried. He was constantly moving his eyes back and forth…back and forth. On Saturday morning, my husband had to go into work and our older son slept in. I spent a substantial amount of time that morning trying to get Grant to focus in on me. No such luck. My anxiety with the situation was increasing greatly.

We had to go out of town for a wedding that evening, where we met my parents. As my dad was holding him, I decided to confide in my family our concerns. I remember my words (and how crazy I felt saying them) as if it were yesterday. “Dad, I’m afraid Grant might be blind.” You should have seen the looks I got from my family. They had to think I was nuts! They spent the rest of our evening trying to prove to me he was tracking their fingers!

I was not put at ease. Sunday night I was standing over his crib, with his eyes moving everywhere, sobbing, begging him to “look at mama.” I knew something wasn’t right.

We had his two month check up the next morning, and thankfully I convinced my husband he should probably call in to work and go with me. Our pediatrician immediately noticed something was up, and recommended our first step should be to go to an Ophthalmologist. They got us in with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist that afternoon.

I was so scared. All I could do during the three hour break between doctors was hold him. And cry. And pray.

After a quick exam, the Pediatric Ophthalmologist informed us that Grant had cataracts. I felt like I was hit by a Mack Truck. The mother of all Mack Trucks. I lost it. I couldn’t hold it together at all. I kept saying, “So he can’t SEE???” Even though I had thought it all weekend, I realized at that moment that I hadn’t really thought it. He started spitting out things about surgeries, glasses, contacts, lens implant surgeries in the future…. Everything from then on is fuzzy to me. He told us we could walk over to his optical shop and look at the glasses. When I saw the lenses, the tears started flowing again. Those terrible glasses could NOT go on my beautiful baby.

The next nine days were L-O-N-G! I couldn’t get a grasp on what we were dealing with. After all, we had a two year old who had never had a medical issue, much less a vision disorder. I hit the internet. I found a million things on just about every other eye disorder, but barely anything on congenital cataracts.

Nine days after finding out, Grant had the surgery on his right eye. Exactly one week later he had the surgery on the left eye. We have never faced anything so scary. My husband and I couldn’t stand watching them walk away with our baby. Two of the greatest feelings we have ever felt were watching them walk back down the hall with him after both of the surgeries. Especially after the second one. We knew at that point we were finished, and we were getting ready to face a new normal.

Grant after surgery #2

The very next day, well there are no words. I will let this video show you what it felt like to see this angel see for the first time. (Please excuse the strong southern accents you hear!)

We are now a month out from the second surgery. We were able to stop all of the drops except for one yesterday (Hallelujah!!!), and we are pretty use to this new normal with glasses. You want to know the funny thing? I prefer Grant with his glasses now. They really have become a part of who he is. I love them because they give him vision. And let’s just face it. I think we will all agree that there is nothing cuter than a little four eyes!

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29 responses to “Your stories – “I once was blind, but now I see”

    • Wow!! Your story sounds SO similar to mine!! I am holding my son, who had his first surgery today and his next surgery is in one week. Reading your story brought me to tears!!

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  1. We found out my daughter had cataracts when she was at her 5 year appointment. She has not had surgery and we have been patching ever since (October 2010). I understand your shock and I can sympathize with you. She’s a whole different person with her glasses.

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  2. I’m really happy that you managed to get your litle boys eye problem diagnosed and treated so early on in his young life. My little girl was three when she was diagnosed with her eye condition, where her lens in her right eye wasn’t in the centre of her eye, but had moved to the side. The doctors dont know how long it had been like that, and obviously as a young child, she never mentioned it. She could see perfectly out of her left eye and her brin had become accustomed to using just her left eye. She had to have her lens removed and began wearing a contact lens. Unfortunately, the same thing hapened to her left eye when she was 7 and she had to have her natural lens removed and has to wear a contact lens to see. My worst far was that she would be unable to see well enough to continue in her normal school, but with the wonders of medical technology, she can still see nearly 100% perfectly from her left eye, as long as she has her contact lens in. She is balbe to do everything that her friends ca do, including swimming (good goggles need to be worn) and she is excelling at school. The past five years have come and went and when I look back at them now, I wonder how I managed to hold it all together. But when you’re a parent, you don’t really have a choice. I try to concentrate on the now rather on the future, and am thankful that we live in Scotland, where our children can receive all the medical treatment they require, unlike other poor children in less fortunate parts of the world. Good luck with the future.

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    • I am also very thankful for wonderful medical care. I’m determined to get involved in an organization to help the less fortunate whose children have vision disorders…just haven’t done enough research on that one yet. We’ve kinda had a busy month! 😉 I’m glad your daughter is doing well! It’s a relief when you get to a point where you have a break! Thank you all for taking the time to read Grant’s story!

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  3. Crystal, you are an amazing mother !!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us and the video!! All I could think is what a blessing he is and how adorable in those glasses !!!

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    • That is truly the best compliment I could receive. I’m so thankful the Lord chose me to be the mother of these two precious boys! Thanks for the kind words!

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  4. I’m thankful for you posting this …..my son will have his eye surgery on Fri. Yes its the lonngest 5 days… I have a few question. Why is his surgery 1 week apart on each eye? Did he wear contacts afterrr surgery or just glasses? How is he doinng now?

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  5. He got his glasses the day after his second surgery. We haven’t gone down the contact route yet, mainly our choice. I have a feeling that will be coming in the next year or so. I hope your son is doing well. (I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this!) I know it’s such a scary time, but it does get a little easier as time passes. Grant’s prescription is +22.

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  6. This is the first time I came across a source with real-life stories(after months of non-stop searching). i too have gone through same thing with my daughter Emma. She couldn’t open her eyes when she was born due to the swelling on her eyes. After three days she finally opened her eyes immediately I noticed something wasn’t right her corneas looked smaller than they should normally be. Her pediatrician’s answer was she looks perfect a word that I so wanted to believe but my intuition was telling me something else. First month went by then second month three more pediatrician visits and my concern was my daughters eyes and the answer from the doctor was the same. And than it happened one day after spending whole day trying to get my baby to focus and no results but I noticed something else too at first i thought it was the light glare in her eye and then i looked again and I saw a tiny white dot in the center of her pupil the worst moment i have ever lived I didn’t know what it could be but one thing I knew she was blind and she could not see. Next day first thing a call to the pediatrician and than a visit to ophthalmologist there she was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes and microcornea a very rare eye disorder. After two surgeries and everything else now she wears contacts and glasses on top,

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  7. What a wonderful story Crystal! I was born with cataracts in 1963. At that time the medical technology was such that lens implants were not possible. I had (and still have) glasses much like little Grant’s. You video is spectacular. It left me teary as I often heard my mother tell me of the same experience when I was first fitted with glasses at about 9 months old. She said I kept looking at the world as if it was all new. She said I would cry when I woke up until she put my glasses on me. Grant has some challenges ahead of him but all of the new technology will certainly help him. when I was young I remember my eye doctor telling my mther not to expect too much from me in school as I would likely be a very slow reader. I am a Ph.D. chemist now. If anyone ever doubts your son’s future capabilities take comfort in the fact that they are WRONG and his condition will make him stronger. Thanks for your story and good luck.

    Glenn

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    • Glenn, thank you so much for sharing your story and insights! It is always so heartening and comforting to hear from others who have experienced something like this first hand.

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    • I cried when I read this. My son was born with a cataract. I always wonder how this will affect him. You are an inspiration. Thank you for posting your story!

      Sincerely,
      Missy

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  8. Oh my goodness Glenn, thank you so much for sharing that. I actually stopped a movie my family was watching to read that to them. I can’t thank you enough. Although I hate for anyone to have had to go through this experience themselves or with their children, it’s always nice to hear from someone who has gone on this journey before us. You are such an inspiration to us all at Little Four Eyes!

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  9. Crystal & Wayne,

    I just watched this video of Grant getting his glasses..this is such a sweet video, he is so cute..praying for you guys..love you all

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  10. I have a son who was diagnosed with cataracts when he was 1, and had surgery and all that good stuff. It’s been year now, and we’ve gone through 3 pairs of glasses, but he loves them and we love him in them! We are so blessed that our children are able to get help!!!

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