Community Rallies Around Baby Born Without Eyes

"I hope to be able to give new families a better understanding of what might come and how to advocate for their child and how to take care of them well without the 'what ifs' and unknowns," Bardakjian said.

But, many questions still remain, such as the likelihood that microphthalmia may occur in subsequent pregnancies, which Bardakjian said could range anywhere from zero to 50 percent.

Because the ocular tissue is an extension of the brain tissue, about 50 percent of individuals who have bilateral microphthalmia will also have other developmental delays, such as cognitive delays or even learning disabilities.

Microphthamia is rarely determined prenatally, Bardakjian said, with Bridget Wildschuetz serving as one of the few exceptions. Through the use of more ultrasounds and, possibly, MRIs, the hope is that doctors will be able to detect the condition early on, Bardakjian said.

'To Know That She Can Hear Us Every Day ... It Was Just Awesome'

A month after Faith was released from the hospital, the Wildschuetzes said they are finally getting the true parental experience, such as learning their child's baby cues and trying to get by on very little sleep.

And then there are the added responsibilities, such as setting up early childhood intervention, pediatric ophthalmology appointments and conducting research on a condition they never even knew existed.

"There are just a lot of things and we're trying to make sure that we're following through and making sure that she has the best start," Bridget said. "Just getting all that organized is, you know, another job on top of trying to be new parents."

First on their list was a trip to the audiologist because doctors believed Faith may have also been deaf because of the condition. The Wildschuetzes learned that their daughter only has a mild hearing loss, which, they said, was great news.

"To actually hear the audiologist tell us that she can hear us, and just to know that she can hear us every day when we tell her that we love her, it was just awesome," she said.

They have also paid a visit to an ocularist, or a specialist who creates ocular prostheses. Faith, like most toddlers with microphthalmia, will need conformers to help with the development of her face.

These artificial stimuli, which are made of a curved piece of acrylic, essentially tell the tissues and bones to grow. Depending on the parents, ocularists will usually replace the conformers with a sclera shell prosthesis, which is a large kind of contact lens that encompasses existing space within the socket. It is usually inserted within six months to a year of the initial visit.

"We give the parents the option, because it's a lot for the parents to deal with," said Craig Pataky, an ocularist in Austin, Texas. "They have to know how to deal with it, and clean it -- it's a lot of responsibility on their part."

Although the Wildschuetzes said they would love to have another child at some point, their main focus for now is caring for Faith and making sure she lives her life to the fullest.

"I think sometimes, as parents, we have to change our vision and how we see things," Bridget Wildschuetz said. "I truly believe that my daughter is going to grow up and she's going to be an incredible girl, because she already is."

VIDEO: Baby Faiths rare condition

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