Monday, August 29, 2016


August 22, 2007: Something about his eyes
August 23, 2007: Whispers and gut feelings

August 23, 2007- When you bring your baby home from the hospital for the first time, it's supposed to be a joyous occasion. The slow, careful drive from the hospital. Walking up the driveway, unlocking the door, and crossing the threshold into the home. Your home. This is it, son. This is where we live.

We were discharged from St. Peter's Hospital with the boy with cloudy eyes and were sent to the pediatric ophthalmologist's office where he was diagnosed with pediatric glaucoma. Glaucoma in children is a rare condition, affecting about 1 in 10,000 kids. The disease causes high eye pressure, and this pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to blindness if left untreated. The newborn presentation is the most severe. If your kid has glaucoma at birth, he will likely be blind, we were told. Tough luck.

The drive home from the eye doctor's office was a bit surreal. I'm driving, my wife shotgun, and my 2 year-old daughter and 2 day-old son with cloudy eyes riding snug in their seats in the back. We were just told that the boy would likely be blind, and our only hope was to head to Boston to see a glaucoma specialist to attempt to correct the problem.

No joyous homecoming, no fanfare. Just tears. I remember thinking that it wasn't supposed to be like this.

We enter the house, sit down, and take a moment to enjoy the presence of our son and daughter together in our home. My wife immediately got on the phone and called the doctor in Boston. The doctor himself answered the phone (weird, huh?), and an appointment was set up for noon the next day. Calls were made to family members telling them the news. I called a friend whose father was an ophthalmologist in town, and he got back to me. If the doctor here says to go to Boston, you go to Boston. You're in good hands.

We were going to Boston. Homecoming.


  1. Brett...bravo for telling your story. It's important to know that everyone--you, me, everyone we know--has struggles in life, and that there is help--from sympathetic friends and from professionals. These struggles happen but we are not alone with them. Yours is particularly difficult because it is about your newborn son--but he has overcome so much with your love and effort. His story will give a lot of people hope and encouragement. I think it's part of what makes you the excellent professional that you are--you understand a scary and potentially devastating situation very well, and you know that it's okay to be hopeful. Keep on writing!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Marla! I know you're no stranger to fighting the fight and keeping a positive, hopeful spirit!