The US$16,000 needed for baby Ky'Mani Thompson to receive specialised care in Miami came too late to save his eyesight.
His parents were given the sad news by doctors but one-year-old Ky'Mani will still be undergoing surgery at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami on October 24.
His mother Sarah Greene-Thompson, 29, communicating via WhatsApp, said: “Ky’Mani's retina is totally detached so the only surgery they can do is for light perception which is basically so he can recognise light but his sight will not be restored. We took too long to do the surgery so too much damage was done."
“So he is blind, but I’m still thankful because he is healthy."
She said she met other families from Trinidad at the institute whose children were doing life-saving surgeries, including heart surgery.
"So I am still thankful,” she said. Greene-Thompson and her son arrived in Miami, last Friday. Ky’Mani who was born at 29 weeks at the San Fernando General Hospital Hospital was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disease that can occur in premature babies.
Before he was discharged from the hospital a routine eye test was done but the condition was not detected then. During follow up medical check-ups at the hospital, the mother complained that Ky’Mani was not focusing and something seemed wrong with his eyes.
When he was five-months-old, Greene-Thompson took him to a private ophthalmologist who detected a problem and referred him back to the hospital. She said Ky'Mani was then diagnosed with the condition. Had the condition been diagnosed earlier, she said it could have been easily treated. However, she was told that the condition only developed as it got older.
With no paediatric vitreoretinal surgeon in T&T to perform the surgery, the parents reached out to the Miami eye institute. The parents missed the first consultation appointment with the institute in August because they did not have sufficient funds.
With help from the Hope of a Miracle Foundation and kind-hearted members of the public, the funds were eventually raised for Ky'Mani's consultation, examination and surgery.
- by Sascha Wilson. Photo by Kristian De Silva