Baby loses eyesight, donations came too late

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

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