Facebook is a popular social media site where parents post pictures of their children on a regular basis. But, it’s not a common occurrence for a Facebook picture to drastically effect someone’s health. That is exactly what happened to a Tennessee mom, Tara Taylor. Hlntv.com reports that Tara’s 3-year-old daughter, Rylee, had spruced up her hair with all sorts of bows and ribbons, and was very proud of her results. Tara decided to take Rylee’s picture and post it on Facebook for all their friends and family to admire.
Tara expected, just as most parents, for their Facebook friends to “like” the picture and make the typical complimentary comments. But, according to Yahoo.com, among those normal Facebook posts were a few that mentioned to Tara that something looked abnormal with Rylee’s left eye. It wasn’t just the dreaded red-eye that inevitably tends to pop up with flashes every now and then. This was what Facebook friends described as “glowing.” A couple of Tara’s friends advised her to get Rylee’s eye checked out by a specialist.
That is exactly what Tara did. As reported by DailyMail.co.uk, Tara took Rylee to see a retina specialist in Memphis, Tennessee, who was able to diagnose Rylee with the rare Coats’ disease, which is named after the Scottish ophthalmologist George Coats, who first identified it, per Yahoo.com.
Coates disease occurs when the blood vessels behind the retina have an abnormal development. It typically leads to swelling of the retina and eventually detachment which can lead to blindness. If it is caught early, such as in the Facebook picture of Rylee, it can be treated with either cryotherapy or laser therapy to restore or save the eyesight. Rylee will be undergoing treatment every couple of months.
There are usually no symptoms, with the exception of what Tara’s friends saw in the Facebook photo. In such instances, there is usually a white or yellow glow per Hlntv.com. Dr. Jorge Calzado of the Charles Retina Institue who diagnosed Rylee, and specializes in retinal surgery tells Yahoo.com, “she had a scar in the back part of her eye.” This is why it was visible in the Facebook picture. He continues to explain that, “Anything that happens in the retina will alter that red reflex, or ‘red-eye,’ which is a reflex from the back of the retina.”
Luckily, Rylee’s case was caught early enough for treatment. Tara and her husband, Jason, are thankful to their Facebook friends who not only noticed the irregularity, but made them aware of it, as well. Facebook was a great tool that day and helped to save Rylee’s eyesight.