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Image of a child with Coats Disease

Photo Reveals Rare Genetic Eye Disease

A photo is worth a thousand words, right?  Well, what if it’s also worth someone’s health?  That turned out to be the case in a recent news story about a seemingly innocent shot of a young girl taken by her mother.  The girl’s mother posted that shot to Facebook, like so many of us do, and received some shocking, but vital feedback from her Facebook friends.

3-year-old Unknowingly Had Coats Disease 

Tara Taylor, a Tennessee mother of two, saved her daughter’s eyesight when she took a photo of her and posted it on Facebook.  Two of Taylor’s friends messaged her and mentioned that the girl’s eye was glowing strangely on one side and that she should take the young girl to the doctor for a possible eye problem.  Her friends were correct; when Taylor took her daughter to the doctor she was diagnosed with Coats Disease.  Coats Disease, named for the Scottish ophthalmologist George Coats, is when there is an abnormal development of the blood vessels behind the retina.  This can lead to retinal swelling and detachment, and eventually vision loss.

Little Girl Receives Eye Treatment, Saves Eyesight

Taylor’s daughter, Rylee, now receives monthly treatments at the Charles Retina Institute.  Dr. Calzada who works at the institute says that it is sometimes difficult to diagnose a disease like Coats because young children may not alert their parents to a change in vision. Furthermore, Rylee showed no signs of vision loss since she didn’t sit too close to the TV and could balance on the balance beam with no problems at gymnastics.  However, the strange gold glow from her eye in the photo her mother took revealed her Coats Disease.  This is the second serious medical problem for the family, as Rylee’s father fell from a balcony earlier in the year, resulting in many broken bones and a series of surgeries.

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