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Facebook picture saves child's vision: Glow in one eye a 'telltale sign'

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A picture that a proud mom posted on Facebook of her daughter’s new self-styled hairdo went a long way, it saved her vision. The post was viewed by friends and family, but one friend noticed a “glow” in just one of Rylee Taylor’s eyes and wrote back to her friend, Tara Taylor, Rylee’s mom.

According to Today News on April 4, Tara got an email from her friend alerting her to the glow in Rylee’s eye. The friend said in the email that it was probably nothing more than just the flash of the camera, but she had heard from a friend that a glow in the eye could mean something is wrong.

Tara and her husband took a few more pictures of their daughter to rule out the camera flash, but that glow continued to show up in just that one eye. This is when they started become very concerned. Rylee’s father Jason told Today during an interview:

“I wouldn’t say we were terrified, but there was definitely concern, because we thought worst case scenario, what if our child has cancer?”

They took their daughter to a specialist who found that Rylee was suffering from a rare disorder that would eventually have left her blind in one eye if it went untreated.

They also found out while at the retina specialist's office that Rylee could barely see out of that eye, which was something that shocked them because she never showed any signs of being vision impaired. Rylee rode her bike just fine, walked on a balance beam and just never acted as if she had any problems with her eye. Learning this fact from the doctor “kind of took my breath away” said Tara.

Rylee’s case had two telltale signs of Coats disease, which can lead to blindness. While Rylee will probably not gain total vision back in that eye, treatments with lasers and injections have already restored some of her peripheral vision. If they hadn’t gotten Rylee to the specialist, she probably would have had a total retinal detachment, leaving her blind in that eye. The Facebook picture and Tara’s observant friend saved Rylee’s vision.

According to Dr. Calzada, Coats disease affects approximately 1 in 100,000 patients. The disease involves blood vessels that become dilated in the retina and leak fluid that accumulates in the eye, causing vision loss.

Tara is the first to say that her friends looking at their pictures on the social media site Facebook has made a “huge impact.” She went on to say, “It’s changed our lives actually.”

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