Mum says baby boy could have gone blind if stranger didn't spot eye condition on TikTok
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
A mum has shared the moment a stranger on TikTok helped to save her baby boy’s sight.
Lily Fleet, 26, took part in a TikTok trend in which she filmed an edited video of her dressing her son, Ari Fleet-Neckles, by throwing clothes at him.
However, a comment left by optometrist Laura Brown, 38, caught Lily’s attention. Laura – who was breastfeeding her own son when she saw the video - noticed Ari’s left eye had a cloudy appearance and an outward squint.
After sending a message to Lily urging her to get her eight-week-old son checked out, the tests revealed that he had congenital glaucoma.
Congenital glaucoma – which is sometimes referred to childhood glaucoma – is a rare type of glaucoma that occurs in young children and is caused by an abnormality of the eye.
If left untreated, congenital glaucoma can lead to blindness.
Lily – who shared the video in March 2021 - had visited the doctors twice already but had been turned away, until she returned with Laura’s advice.
The mum, from Romford, east London, said she is ‘so grateful’ that Laura reached out when she saw the video.
“It was very brave of her – she had no way of knowing I wouldn’t take it the wrong way,” she said, praising Laura for her quick thinking.
Lily admitted that she felt scared after researching the condition once she received Laura’s urgent message.
“When we saw the specialists they said this isn't often picked up before seven months so we're very lucky.
"I wasn't surprised because I had noticed his eye and been to the doctor but Laura encouraged me to make sure I saw a specialist which made all the difference.
"It's good to see something positive coming out of social media."
Lily said that she had noticed Ari's eye wasn't focusing and had been reassured it was fine by her doctor at his six-week check-up.
She was told to come back if the squint hadn't self-corrected by three months.
The cloudiness, which is caused by the undrained fluid, appeared a week later.
Lily went back to her doctor and she was referred to specialists at her local hospital the same day and her son was later referred for an operation.
Ari, who is now 19 months, will now be monitored as he grows.
Mum-of-two Laura, 41, from Glasgow said that she is ‘over the moon’ she was able to help Lily and Ari – who she hasn’t met.
Although she is now glad she came forward, she was initially in ‘two minds about reaching’ and coming across as ‘the crazy lady on the internet’.
She said: “"I just knew instantly, and I was very sure”.
"I would have wanted someone to do that if it was my baby.
"I'm pleased I did. Getting there early means his eye has the best chance to be as good as it can be.
"He would 100% have lost all or most of the vision in that eye in a couple of months, if it had been left untreated.
For more information on glaucoma, please visit the NHS website here.