A Better Life Is Now in Sight
For children with severe vision problems, daily life means seeing the world as a constant blur of colors and chaos.
But for Michael Motelet of Overland Park, Kan., fuzzy vision was one of many ailments robbing him of life's full picture.
The Many Struggles
Teresa Owens adopted Michael when he was 7 years old. She was well aware of his lengthy list of physical and cognitive disabilities—severe autism, cerebral palsy and scoliosis in addition to being deaf and mute. One doctor also told her Michael was blind; another said his sight "wasn't worth trying to fix"—because of his other challenges.
His limitations made it difficult for him to achieve developmental milestones or even learn basic life skills. But despite his severe challenges, Teresa was optimistic that hard work and the right medical care would enable her son to experience life to its fullest.
Fix the vision, and he'll improve.
Teresa knew this was necessary for Michael, as his vision problems were limiting his ability to focus and learn. If his sight could be restored, perhaps he could work to overcome his other disabilities.
The only problem was finding a treatment option—and a highly skilled surgeon to perform it. It didn't take long for her search to lead to Children's Mercy, where Erin Stahl, MD conducts specialized refractive surgery procedures.
Dr. Stahl determined Michael would benefit greatly from a laser procedure called Photorefractive Keratectomy. And it didn't take long for that assessment to prove true. The surgery was performed in early April 2013, and within two weeks, Michael already showed improvement.
"His teacher told me after his first day back, ‘Wow, we've noticed such a difference,'" Teresa says. "He's more attentive and takes initiative to learn new things."
Brighter Days Ahead
For parents who have children with disabilities, progress can be a long road. But Teresa now has hopes that Michael's vision improvement will be the first of many future breakthroughs. With his vision clear, he'll be able to interact with his learning devices and focus better when practicing new skills. Teresa said Michael's potential is looking much brighter, all thanks to the care he received at Children's Mercy.
"Dr. Stahl is a great doctor; she was so dedicated to helping Michael. If I could point parents in a direction, it would be to Children's Mercy. They go to bat for the kids," she says.
Make a Difference
To find out more about how you can help Children's Mercy ensure that children in our region continue to benefit from the highest-quality health care, please contact Phil Watson at (816) 701-4339 or email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org.