A young girl from Texas was diagnosed with dementia at the age of just seven following a routine eye check-up.
Isla Edwards, 7, is a bubbly and cheerful young girl who got her eyes checked after her vision started getting “a little fuzzy” at long distances.
During the eye test internal issues were discovered, and the eye specialist referred the child to the hospital to undergo additional testing.
After further examination, doctors diagnosed Isla with Batten disease – a progressive, congenital neurological disease.
The disease is considered terminal, whereas most children diagnosed with it don’t live longer than their late teens or early twenties.
As the disease progresses, the victims often suffer symptoms such as cognitive impairment and epilepsy. Vision loss and the ability to speak and swallow are also lost with time.
According to Isla’s mom, Jacquelyn Stockdale, her daughter had already lost 90% of her vision despite being healthy otherwise.
“At the time of her diagnosis, there were no signs of anything being wrong with Isla. Her vision was a little fuzzy at long distances, but nothing out of the ordinary for a kid who was on the borderline of needing glasses,” the mother explained.
“I was [then] told that Isla would very soon lose her vision completely, develop childhood dementia and epilepsy, that her mental cognition would start declining, and that her physical abilities would also start to deteriorate. The life expectancy for a child with [Batten disease] was late teens to early twenties.”
Despite the shocking diagnosis and prognosis, the mother remains optimistic that her little fighter with live to see the day a cure for the disease is discovered.
She also said that Isla’s progress has surprised even her doctors while insisting that the entire family is proud and hopeful for her future.
“Vision impairment is the only symptom she displays of this disease, and we are fighting with everything we have to ensure it stays that way. We were told on diagnosis day that that day was the healthiest Isla would ever be, and that she was at her peak; Two years later, and she has continued to defy that,” Stockdale continued.
“We firmly believe that Isla will be among the first children to change the history of this disease. She has broken every single barrier and defied every expectation since day one, and we believe she will continue to do so until a cure for batten disease is found.”
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