After our most recent ophthalmology appointment at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Dr. Morrison and his team have led us to go forward with surgery on Cooper’s eyes this September.
Our oldest son Cooper was born with congenital cataracts in each eye. At his four-month check-up his pediatrician told us he lacks the red reflex in his eye. Something is blocking light from getting through. She told us it could be something as simple as a clogged tear duct or as serious as cancer. In God’s mercy, we learned he was born with congenital cataracts in each eye. Previously unseen to our naked eye, the cataract in his right eye was now big enough and dense enough that the compromised lens needed to be removed right away.
Living in Memphis at the time, Cooper had surgery at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital early on the morning of December 28, 2014. The surgery removed the lens in his right eye and was a great success. He went on to spend the night, just as a precaution – the same night the Arkansas Razorbacks beat the Texas Longhorns in the Texas Bowl…funny what we remember!
He has worn a specialized contact lens on that eye ever since. To answer nearly everyone’s question, no, it was not hard to put in when he was a baby. Yes, it became more difficult when he was a toddler, but by the time he was a little boy, it was second nature. Wearing a contact lens 6 days a week has simply been a part of his everyday life. He has actually never lost a contact in the nearly 6 years he’s worn one. For the record, though, his dad has washed one down the sink, on accident!
In the years following, we have visited the doctor every three months and monitored the progress of the cataract in his left eye. We have anticipated the day he would need the cataract removed from his left and intraocular lenses put into both eyes. That day is here!
Cooper will have two surgeries and five appointments over 14 days. The procedures will take place at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN by the doctor and team who have cared for Coop since he was first diagnosed 6 years ago. We will enjoy the quarantine life in the Edgehill District – I can think of worse places to spend a few weeks in autumn!
Our little man is not nervous in the least! He is excited to know he will no longer have to wear his “bubble” (our nickname for his contact lens). He has asked tons of questions and tells us he is ready. His parents? Well, ready as we’ll ever be! This is an experience we knew was coming and certainly trust the sovereign timing of God – though eye surgeries the month Cooper starts kindergarten and during a global pandemic was certainly not our plan.
Romans 8 describes God’s love for his people. We need not be elite, superhuman Christians to be loved by God. He blesses us with the ability to emotionally and physically persevere and we know we will never be separated from that love. We certainly feel God’s love and presence during these days and look forward to his blessing of safe surgeries, full recovery, and new sight to a son I love more than life. Thanks for joining us in praying for Coop during the month of September.