‘My baby was born with beautiful blue eyes – but there was a chilling reason’

A baby girl's "beautiful big blue eyes" turned out to be a symptom of a condition that causes blindness.

Louise Bice, 34, was stunned when Aretria was born with big blue peepers – a trait no one else in the family had.

Strangers would compliment them "six or seven times every day", which Louise loved.

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But at six months old one of Aretria's eyes turned "milky" and any light caused the tot to scream in pain.

Louise and partner Connor Bice, 29, were told she had a severe case of bilateral congenital glaucoma – a genetic abnormality which saw extreme and growing pressure on the optic nerve – and needed urgent surgery.

Aretria, now 10 months old, had a four-hour surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, in June to relieve the pressure – but follow-up tests showed it had failed.

She had a second surgery last month [August] and her parents are awaiting the results.

Louise, a stay-at-home mum from Mansfield, Notts, said: "I never expected Ari's big, beautiful eyes to be a bad thing.

"Suddenly one day her eye clouded over – one minute it was fine and 15 minutes later it was completely changed.

"Specialists had to do horrific tests on her and I learned she had already lost some vision in both eyes.

"After two surgeries we still don't know what will happen – she already has just 5% vision left in her right eye."

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In a warning to other parents, she added: "I just think if we had managed to get this diagnosed before the pressure got out of control, she might not now be blind in one eye.

"If someone had said it was weird, she had big eyes rather than cute we might have got it checked – but none of us knew it was even a red flag.

"If we knew that before, she might not be blind in her right eye now."

Any signs of enlarged eyes, watering, redness and shining away from light should be reported to a health care professional at the earliest.

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