RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - On an average day, Micah Weathers can be found active, independent and enjoying life like any other toddler. One glance at him, and it might be surprising to know he has been through several surgeries before the age of 2. It all started with a diagnosis as a newborn.
“We saw the specs on his pupils when he was born, and we asked the pediatrician,” said Micah’s mother Eliza Roach.
Roach says she noticed something wasn’t quite right with Micah’s eyes as soon as he was born, she described the “specs” as small, but noticeable.
“She asked me minutes after he was born, ‘mommy, what’s that light in his eye?’ - I thought nothing, I said that’s God’s light," said grandmother Mildred Weathers.
The “light” turned into an even bigger problem.
“He would look up or down or to the side because the cloud on the lens was blocking his visual lens,” said Roach.
From the pediatrician, the family was referred to the Virginia Eye Institute, where they met Dr. Donna Brown.
“They told us he had cataracts on both eyes," said Roach.
The diagnosis was followed by surgeries at just three and four months old. A stressful time for the family, who just wanted to ensure Micah would not lose his sight. Pediatric cataracts is rare, and can lead to childhood blindness if it is not caught and treated early.
“I didn’t know they would say it’s cataracts and it would be life long,” said Roach. “He is going to have to have contacts, glasses, routine checkups. He will live at the eye doctor.”
While they have tried glasses for Micah, Mildred Weathers and Roach say soft contacts have turned out to be the best solutions to helping him have clear vision. “He looked at us head on, it was amazing, we knew he could see," said Weathers.
It is not easy, getting contacts in a baby’s eye every three to five days, but they will never forget the moment his first pair were put on.
“At this age is when he stops fighting, he lets us put them in - it takes about 30 minutes," said Roach.
The contacts are clearly labeled Left and Right, because Micah’s eyes are different sizes right now. Having just one pair, is a challenge, because as any active child, they come out or at times get lost. Weathers says they have continued to petition their insurance company to understand Micah’s need for lenses right now.
“They only give Micah one pair of contacts a year, one pair. We have lost so many contacts," Weathers said. “The lenses are in pretty bad condition after 3-4 months because the protein build up.”
Weathers says they want to be granted a backup pair of contacts by the insurance company, because a back up pair now, costs $750 up front.
“When he has his contacts out - he doesn’t stray far from us,” Weathers said. “We are his eyes.”
Once Micah turns 3, doctors have said he can switch to disposable lenses, but there is still more than a year to go until they get to that point in Micah’s growth. While they know he can see clearly, the family is also looking towards Micah being able to speak more, so they will be able to know know how far he can see.
“I just want him to be a normal kid," said Roach.
They hope other families will be proactive, and not be afraid to ask as many questions as possible if they notice something might medically be wrong with their children. Micah has a long journey to clear vision ahead of him, but mom and the rest of his loved ones saying Micah being able to see is worth every obstacle they will continue to get over.
“I wouldn’t take anything back, I’m just super grateful,” said Roach.