When three-month-old Richie Lopez was born, his mother Kelly Lopez was overjoyed to have her new bundle of joy. However even 13 days after the birth of the child, she noticed that her son wasn’t opening his eyes. According to AZ Family, the Kelly and her family members had earlier thought that the child’s face was swollen after birth, and his eyes were simply tucked under the folds of baby skin. To their dismay and shock, it was after an MRI scan a few days later that they found out that Richie had been born without eyes.
Kelly, who was devastated by the news later told reporters, “I think we were just in shock. Obviously very upsetting. The first thought through your mind is, how did this even happen and how was it not even caught?”
While Kelly and her family members are perplexed as to why Richie was born without eyes, doctors believe that his condition could be caused due to a rare condition called Anophthalmia. According to UPI, this is a rare disease that affects one in 250,000 people. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Anophthalmia is known as the “total absence of the eye tissue or apparent absence of the globe in an orbit that otherwise contains normal adnexal structures.” However, doctors treating Richie are still evaluating his case.
When Richie turned seven-weeks-old, the doctors treating him placed expanders into his eye sockets. This is to ensure that the eye sockets would continue to grow as Richie ages. This is also being done so that Richie can use prosthetic eyeballs. Richie, who was probably irritated by the surgery, however, accidentally rubbed them out one night, and the family had a harrowing time putting them back in place. In the end, Kelly had to call up a surgeon, who helped her put the expanders back in.
“It was so emotional, but I knew I had to do it. I knew that he needed this and I had no other choice; we were going to get it back in,” Kelly says.
Meanwhile Richie Lopez’s family members are gearing up for a life that they know would be difficult for him. They realize that as he grows up, Richie is likely to hear insensitive comments from the public. They have, however, chosen to remain resilient and to maintain a positive outlook. Richie currently wears a pair of baby sunglasses when he goes out with his family. His family members have already enrolled him into special developmental programs designed to make life easier for blind infants.
Richie’s mother Kelly is hopeful that advances in medicine would one day enable her son to see again. This is a distinct possibility because doctors have said that the boy’s optic nerve is healthy, and it is just that the boy was born without eyes.
“That would be amazing. I do hope that one day they’ll be able to either grow an eye or transplant an eye,” Kelly says.
The news of Richie’s strange medical condition comes just days after the Inquisitr reported about a baby in Missouri born with two front teeth.
We wish Richie Lopez and his family all the best for the future.
[Images Via AZ Family]