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Mysterious Ways
By Adam Hunter

How a Facebook Post Saved a Girl's Eyesight

Like any proud parent in the digital age, Tennessee mom Tara Taylor frequently posted photos of her 3-year-old daughter, Rylee, to Facebook.

After Rylee did up her own hair with colorful ribbons and bows, Tara snapped a pic and uploaded it to show her friends. Rylee was adorable! It was just too bad the camera flash reflected in her eyes. Every amateur photographer’s nightmare: “red eye.”

But there was something odd about the “red eye” effect, Tara’s friends noticed. In one eye, the flash appeared small, dim. The other was bright, covering the iris. A few friends commented on the weird lighting. Others began to think it wasn’t just a quirk of a camera flash.

“Hey, I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s probably the lighting, but your daughter’s eye is glowing and you might want to have it checked out because it’s a sign there could be an issue with her eye.”

That had to be a joke, right? But Tara wondered. She took her daughter to the pediatrician, who recommended seeing a retina specialist. The specialist found that Rylee has Coats’ disease, a rare condition that could lead to permanent blindness in the affected eye...

Unless it’s caught early enough to undergo treatment.

That’s what the fortuitous photo did—give Tara the early warning she needed to catch Rylee’s disease before it became irreversible. Tara had no idea Rylee was having vision problems.

“The significant problem we have with children is that a child won’t say, ‘Mommy, I can’t see out of my right eye,’ ” Dr. Jorge Calzada of the Charles Retina Institute and Baptist Eye Clinic told WREG News in Memphis. “When a child recognizes he cannot see or the parent recognizes they cannot see, it’s often because they’ve lost vision in both eyes.”

Dr. Calzada told Yahoo! Shine that the flash in photos can often reveal the condition. “If you see that odd reflection or lack of a red reflex, get a dilated eye exam,” he says.

Tara’s husband barely survived a terrible fall from a balcony last summer, and the family is seeking help with their medical bills, as well as your prayers. We already know the family’s pleas for God’s protection are being heard.

Has a strange photo ever saved you from harm? Send your story to us!

Photo credit: WREG

Adam Hunter is a senior editor for Guideposts magazine and Managing Editor for Mysterious Ways. He’s edited Mysterious Ways since October 2006, and is continually amazed by the astounding stories shared by readers. Follow him on Twitter: @MMysteriousWays