Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eli's Eye Surgery

Today was a big day for Eli. As the Dr. did a surgery that basically saved his vision in his right eye, we experienced some of the enormity of what the American Health Care System can offer him versus what he wouldn't have gotten in China.

Eli had cataracts as a baby - in both eyes. At 1 year, 8 months, he had surgery in China to remove the cloudy lens from both eyes. Since the part of the eye that we use to focus is absent in Eli (the lens), he has very thick glasses. The good news is that he is a good candidate to have artificial lens put in when he's older. The other good news is that he has (4) older siblings to fight off mean, playground bullies. Bullies beware as the Ramsdell's have no wimpy children.

With the cataract problem being solved...Eli also has Glaucoma due to a birth defect in his eye. Glaucoma is simply high pressure in the eye. Prolonged high eye pressure can lead to damage to the optic nerve and eventually loss of vision. Since Eli is only 3, the concern is that he is looking at managing high eye pressure over the course of a very long life-time (vs if he got glaucoma at the age of 90).

After being sedated, Dr. Lee was able to get a very good pressure reading on Eli. Good pressures fall in the range of 10 - 20. Eli's left eye was a 14. Great! Enough said there. His right eye was a 30 --- with 90% damage to the optic nerve. Chances are he's already lost some peripheral vision in this eye (as we suspected even in China). The surgery came just in the nick of time.

All went well and as he heals we will be able to tell where the procedure has left him. Best case scenario, the surgery was enough to lower the eye pressure and nothing more will be needed.

The bottom line is...the boy has sight. He will be able to play, read, go to school and most likely drive. I believe God's grander plan is coming true for him.

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