Nine-month-old Mason Page, who was left blind in one eye, will soon be given his first prosthetic eye, something his mother Sarah Bowers called a ‘Christmas miracle’.
Sarah first noticed something was wrong when photos she had taken of Mason revealed a ‘golden glow’ in his left eye.
She remembered a story she had read while pregnant about a mother who had noticed the same glow in her son’s eye – and it had turned out to be a rare disease called Coat’s Disease which affects just one in 100,000 children.
The next day, Mason was taken to his GP, who referred him immediately to an eye specialist.
An examination confirmed that Mason was in fact completely blind in his left eye.
Sarah said: ‘I was completely shocked and devastated to learn this news, as other than a staph infection in that eye, he had never had any signs of being blind.
‘His pupil dilates, the eye follows things and responds to light.’
The eye specialist told the family that the blindness could be related to Coat’s disease – a condition that causes abnormal development in the blood vessels behind the retina of the eye – and retinoblastoma – a rare malignant eye tumour found in young children.
Sarah and Mason were flown to Auckland the next morning to see another doctor who had dealt with cases of retinoblastoma and other eye conditions and Mason was put under a general anesthetic so he could be examined.
The tests confirmed he was completely blind in his left eye and that he had a detached retina. He would have no hope of recovering any sight to the eye.
With the uncertainty surrounding the possible presence of retinoblastoma, the doctor advised the best and safest choice for Mason was the removal of his eye, both to prevent the spread of any disease in the eye and to allow proper diagnosis and treatment.