California twins suffering from rare disorder were born without eyes

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A California couple’s twin boys were born with a rare condition which results in the absence of one or both eyes.

Fox40 News in Sacramento reported that the boys, born on May 2, 2014, were born with anophthalmia.  Jameson was born with only one eye and his twin brother Jackson, who also has a club foot, was born with an underdeveloped right eye and no left eye; Jackson cannot see at all.

The boys’ parents, Summer Hollingsworth and Michael Lopez make frequent trips to see doctors and specialists to help their children.

“They see an endocrinologist, a neurologist, and three different opthomologist specialists,” Hollingsworth said. “It is very expensive, we travel back and forth.”

According to the National Eye Institute, anophthalmia is a rare disorder that develops during pregnancy resulting in the absence of one or both eyes. The cause can be related to genetic mutations and abnormal chromosomes. Researchers also say they believe the disorder can be caused by exposure to X-rays, chemicals, pesticides, radiation, or viruses, although “research is not conclusive.”

The National Eye Institute said there is no treatment that can restore vision, but in most cases children can be fitted for prosthetic eyes. These artificial eyes can serve cosmetic purposes and promote socket growth.

“A newborn with anophthalmia… will need to visit several eye care professionals, including those who specialize in pediatrics,” according to the National Eye Institute. “A child with anophthalmia may also need to use expanders in addition to conformers to further enlarge the eye socket.”

Both unemployed, the parents have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover expenses. They hope to raise $20,000. As of Sunday, June 29, 2014 nearly $5,000 had been raised.

Fox40 News reported that doctors say the disorder occurs in three out of every 100,000 births.