The daughter of a blind mother and a legally blind godmother, Heather Sullivan grew up “witnessing the blind living in a sighted world,” she says. So, when her mother was visiting and took an accidental tumble with her three-month-old son, George, the family rushed to the Lurie Children’s emergency department. The last thing Heather expected was a visual impairment diagnosis for her child.
At Lurie Children’s, an attending physician in the emergency department, Dr. Wee-Jhong Chua, noticed, totally unrelated to the fall, that George’s vision appeared to be obstructed. Heather and her husband Kevin had previously expressed concerns about their son’s vision to their pediatrician, but were assured that vision develops until children are four months of age and were advised to monitor it.
Within 12 hours, George was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts that were almost completely obstructing the vision in both eyes. To save his vision, Dr. Bahram Rahmani operated on George in a matter of days at Lurie Children’s.
Today, George can see with the help of glasses and contacts. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Chua, we would have likely found out much later when the impacts to our son’s vision would have been irreversible,” Heather says.
“Giving my son sight is the best gift anyone could possibly give us,” she says. “I remain so unbelievably thankful for Dr. Chua and the wonderful doctors who strive daily to provide the best possible care.”