Little Izabella Myers was born with just one eye. Now doctors are prepping her for a prosthetic, a process which cannot be completed until she is a bit older.
Izabella, now just nine months old, was born with micropthalmia, a condition in which one or both eyes are unusually small. In her case, her eye had started to grow in vitro but then stopped.
Izabella almost certainly inherited the gene from her father’s side of the family as his great-great grandmother had also suffered from it. Her father’s genetics didn’t provide her with enough chromosomes to fully form her left eye.
The expander is a medical necessity: the left side of her face currently droops and will not develop normally without the supporting structure of the eye socket.
She will wear an expander to help her left socket grow along with the rest of her skull. This is to be changed every two weeks to accommodate growth, until she is one. Then she can be fitted with a prosthetic that will also be updated as she grows.
It’s a grueling routine for a child so young but necessary for her development.
Her mother, Alexis Miller, understands the medical necessity of the expanders but isn’t all that happy about them and feels Izabella should ideally make the decision when she is old enough to decide for herself:
"Medically, Izabella needs a prosthetic eye, but if she didn't, I'd rather wait until she was old enough to decide for herself if she wants one. I don't think she needs to change to fit in."
Since the expanders are a medical requirement today, however, it can’t be left to a future decision.