Toddler Has Unusual And Mesmerizing Eyes, And Her Mom Is Worried About Comments She Gets From Strangers
September 20, 2018 12:17 By Fabiosa
Karina Martinez, a young mom from Minnesota, says her daughter Mehlani often gets complimented on her big, beautiful eyes. The mom feels conflicted when she hears strangers comment on her toddler’s adorable eyes, but why?
Everytime were out & a stranger compliments on how big & beautiful her eyes are, I have a mental debate on whether or not I should mention her defect. I decide no, smile & say thank you. I’m always left with a weird feeling. I just pray she’ll always know how beautiful she is. pic.twitter.com/JUJyGkLbDe— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 13, 2018
The truth is, Karina wrote on Twitter, that her daughter was born with a rare genetic condition that causes her eyes to look like this. The condition is known as Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, and it affects development of parts of the eye, most commonly the cornea and iris.
For the people wondering what her defect is: she has axenfeld rieger anomaly syndrome & Glaucoma— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 14, 2018
Shes so precious inside & out, with a heart of gold 💖 pic.twitter.com/mjIypBWdH1— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 13, 2018
Mehlani also has glaucoma but her vision is OK now, her mom wrote. The girl already had a surgery to relieve pressure in her eyes, and she’s been doing fine so far.
So strong. In just 5 months of life she’d gone through so much. pic.twitter.com/UnuNa1IJJr— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 13, 2018
The surgery wasn’t to correct her eyes, it was done bc her drainage canal was malformed & it was making the pressure in her eyes really high, & causing damage to her optic nerves so she got artificial drainage canals put in to help keep the pressure down & the surgery has been— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 15, 2018
successful so far! Her vision is ok right now but We still don’t know what her vision will be like in the future just taking it day by day & taking her to her routine check ups!— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 15, 2018
As her eyes are extremely sensitive to sunlight, the girl wears sunglasses when she’s outside.
Thought you guys might enjoy seeing some pics of Mehlani in her sunglasses, she’s super sensitive to light so she wears these anytime we go outside & I think they’re the cutest!! pic.twitter.com/cMLyNxuFjV— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 14, 2018
Although comments about Mehlani’s unique appearance have been mostly positive, Karina worries about her daughter starting school, knowing how mean some kids can be to anyone who looks different.
I get so nervous thinking about her starting school. What if other kids are mean about her eyes & she gets made fun of? What if she starts to hate her unique gorgeous eyes? It makes me want to cry thinking about it because she’s so strong & sweet & been through so much already 😔— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 13, 2018
The mom shared their story on Twitter and it went viral in a matter of days. She decided to use it as an opportunity to help the good cause and called on her followers to donate to Children’s Glaucoma Foundation.
For my bday, I'm asking for donations to Childrens Glaucoma Foundation Inc. I've chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, & I hope you'll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every bit will help me reach my goal. https://t.co/IwCbb8ewCn— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 14, 2018
Karina has received overwhelming support from people who learned about her story. Here are some of the comments:
I scrolled past and thought “wow what a gorgeous little girl so jealous of her beautiful big eyes” then read your post! People are always going to be mean whatever the case.. but in her case I truly believe the compliments will overwhelm you! She’s ridiculously beautiful! 💕— Kadie Humphreys (@_kdp143) September 14, 2018
She’s just perfect mama. She’s gorgeous. She’s a strong little gal and she’s lucky to have you as her mommy. Just perfect.— chynna jo (@chynnajo) September 13, 2018
She’s seriously one of the prettiest little girls i have EVER seen!!— Lex (@itsLexJones) September 14, 2018
Some parents whose kids are going through the same reached out to Karina. Here’s what one mom wrote:
Its so crazy to hear this about other babies, i keep hearing how rare it is, but my son had it too and had his surgery at 3 months for it and the first thing anyone says when seeing him is how cute his big eyes are. Thank you for posting this! Shes beautiful! pic.twitter.com/YvC56eNkUM— sp00kyPrincessxx🎃👻 (@misshonoredxx) September 15, 2018
Karina doesn’t know what’s in store for her precious little daughter. The girl’s condition may affect her vision in the future, so she has to be closely monitored.
She is super sensitive to light & as of now her vision is good but she can start to lose vision in the future, we just have to monitor her eye pressure because if it starts to get high again it could cause a lot of damage to her optical nerves— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 14, 2018
Mehlani may be too young to understand why she’s getting so much attention, but she’ll grow up knowing she’s loved, and that’s what’s most important.
Mehlani wants to say thank you to everyone for their kind sweet words! She has no idea what Twitter is but I told her everyone loves her & thinks she’s beautiful 💖 pic.twitter.com/ZEzbo1ZJBn— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 14, 2018
We wish Mehlani good health and many more happy moments down the road!