Can we all agree being a mom is fricken’ hard? And for the record, I’m not saying this because I’m a blind parent. I’m saying it because I’m in the throws of raising both a preschooler and a toddler. Some days my girls are great and all is right with the world. But then you have those moments where you feel like you’re Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games, desperately begging the universe for the “odds” to somehow “be in your favor.” The last thing any mother need is extra stress – which is why I want to tell you about Kayla Reed and her Go Fund Me Page to help with her cornea transplant.
Get To Know Kayla:
Kayla Reed and I are friends; despite the fact, she’s a California girl and I’m a native New Yorker. We met through Facebook and from this here blog. Like myself, Kayla is a blind mom to a beautiful two-year-old little boy named Grady. She owns a business called “Braille the World” where she transcribes documents, mostly restaurant menus, into braille. She’s also a writing tutor with a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, focusing on Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT).
Kayla’s version of “Mostly Wonderful,” her husband Cory, is also blind. Cory lost his eyesight in a car accident when he was 22 years old. He is a massage therapist and a motivational speaker.
Two months ago, Kayla didn’t even think restoration of her vision was even a possibility. She lost her eyesight when she was four years old after having an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin, a commonly used antibiotic. Kayla was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a severe autoimmune disorder, that caused her body to literally attack itself. Kayla’s eyes, primarily her corneas, were severely scarred and irreparably damaged. As a child, Kayla endured many surgeries in an attempt to repair her eyes without success. Her Stevens-Johnson Syndrome kept attacking the work the surgeries had done. As a result, she was told a cornea transplant was out of the question.
The emotional trauma of so many childhood surgeries deterred Kayla from looking into any further treatments for her eye condition. However, two months ago, she came across several videos on YouTube highlighting individuals with Stevens – Johnson Syndrome that went on to have cornea transplants. Four of these people had very similar stories to Kayla, being blind for approximately the same amount of time as herself. Their surgeries had been successful! One of these highlighted individuals had even been able to attain his driver’s license after receiving his transplant.
On a referral from her primary physician, she booked an appointment with a local ophthalmologist. Kayla fully expected to be sent to several different specialists before finding someone that was not only knowledgeable about her rare disease, but able to perform the surgery she needed. After assessing her eyes, the ophthalmologist casually asked her when she would like to schedule the surgery. Kayla sat in shock. It turned out the doctor she had been referred to had actually worked with many individuals with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. He believed Kayla had a real shot at a successful corneal transplant due to the recent advances in medical technology.
On September 25th, Kayla began her journey by receiving surgery on her right eye. This procedure removed existing scar tissue, placing an amniotic membrane over the area to help it heal in preparation for a corneal transplant. Just from this surgery alone, Kaylas has experienced an improvement in light perception. Over the past month, she has had to have daily eye treatments in order to maintain a good hosting environment for the cornea.
Now, the surgeon feels she’s ready for the actual transplant. Kayla’s plan was to have the surgery sometime at the end of November. Unfortunately, she and her husband have discovered their insurance will pay for the cost of the surgery BUT DOES NOT COVER the cost of the cornea itself.
Gotta love insurance companies! UGGH! That’s why Reed family is trying to raise $5,000 to help cover the cost of the actual cornea! As of today, they’re more than halfway there, with $3500 already fundraised.
Helping Kayla, Cory & Grady:
I started this blog talking about stress. My husband and I know all too well the “stress” associated with medical costs and dealing with insurance companies. When I started Blind Motherhood, I did so with the intention of helping other parents.
Kayla’s only focus right now should be on keeping herself healthy enough to get this transplant and taking care of Cory and her son, Grady. She shouldn’t be worrying about medical bills! Period.
So I’m asking, as we gear up for a season of Thanksgiving if any of Blind Motherhood’s followers would like to help Kayla? You can click HERE to be redirected to her Go Fund Me Page. Remember, no donation is too small and every dollar counts.
If you are not in the position to donate, that’s okay. Show Kayla, Cory, and Grady a little love by leaving a comment below. Let’s support her on this journey! We’re rooting for you, Kayla!