April 4, 2014— -- When Tara Taylor posted a photo of her daughter on Facebook, she had no idea that the simple action would change the girl’s life.
Most of Taylor's friends commented on 3-year-old Rylee’s smile, writing about how cute she is or how big she’s getting. But Stacy Carter noticed something else: a white glow in Rylee’s left eye. A family friend's son had an eye disease with the same symptom.
“I immediately sent her a message and said, ‘Hey, it could be nothing, or you know, there could be something really wrong with Rylee’s eye,’” Carter said.
Taylor and her husband Jason took Rylee to three different doctors before they got a diagnosis. The waiting and the unknown were difficult for Jason Taylor.
“We just felt kind of helpless, that there was nothing we could do,” he said.
Doctors eventually confirmed Rylee was suffering from a condition called Coats’ disease. The condition comes from an abnormal development of blood vessels behind the eye, said Dr. Milan Ranka, a pediatric ophthalmologist at New York University.
It can lead to blindness.
Doctors say Rylee’s case was advanced. But after two surgeries, they say they’ve seen some improvement in her vision.
If the disease was spotted any later, Rylee likely would be permanently blind in her left eye. The Taylors are just thankful that Rylee’s situation was caught in time, and over social media, no less.
“She does every activity that her sister does, and no differently,” Tara Taylor said.