We have a very bright young deaf boy in his senior year at our Bohol Deaf Academy by the name of Raymart. Life is not easy for him. He cleans the IDEA office on weekend for his pocket money because his father had a stroke and can no longer support the family. With the help of an American sponsor, IDEA is providing his schooling and lodging. He has been getting good grades . . . until lately. Recently he has been having trouble seeing clearly and having sever headaches. He has the most unusually looking and beautiful eyes for a Filipino because they are light aqua blue. This is actually a sign of Waardenburg Syndrome that sometimes goes hand in hand with being deaf.
We sent Ryan to two eye doctors here in Tagbilaran City on the island of Bohol and both said he is suffering from macular degeneration and would be totally blind soon. Deaf and blind . . . what a prognosis! When our nurse reported the doctor’s findings we immediately made an appointment with a specialist in the major city of Cebu on the next island. To everyone’s great relief, the Cebu doctor reported that Raymart had under-developed retinas and because of this his eye sight was rapidly deteriorating to where his sight was now 20/1100. That is basically legally blind. This was causing more damage to his retina but the doctor said that with contacts lenses they can restore his sight which should stop the deterioration of the retina so he will most likely not go blind. He will be fit this week with the contact lenses.