‘Visual bucket list’ for five-year-old going blind

A five-year old has created a visual ‘bucket list’ in order to focus her time on seeing the world before she goes blind.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Myers is a five-year-old girl who will be blind in the next five to 10 years. And she doesn’t know it.

Since she is so young, her parents have decided to wait a little bit longer to break the news to her in hopes that she will better be able to understand the situation. But since they already have the news, they are going all out to help her see as much beauty in the world that she can, even if its during the middle of the night, according to WQAD.com.

“Yesterday I ran upstairs and woke her up because there was the most beautiful rainbow outside,” said her mother, Christine Myers. “I think I scared her to death at first, but when I carried her out to see the rainbow she loved it and we sat there for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. It was the longest rainbow and it was so bright and you could see all the colors. I don’t think even I have seen so many.”

Lizzy has Usher Syndrome Type II. This means she has a rare genetic disorder that only one in 17,000 people in the United States have it. The disease causes moderate to severe hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa in children that are born with it.

She already wears hearing aids, and in addition to losing her sight, she will most likely lose most of her hearing as well.

The girl’s father, Steve Myers, said when they first found out about her condition that, “we were devastated, although we know many children have it much worse.”

But doctors are hopeful for Lizzy. Dr. Lotfi Merabet a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, said that he is convinced with her support system that she will lead a full and thriving life. He added that early intervention makes a huge difference and that since Lizzy’s brain is still developing, she will learn how to communicate and interact with the world naturally with her setbacks which will promise her a bright future.

“The brain can adapt and help you develop skills,” he said. “Be reassured she is not going into a world of darkness and silence. Some 20 to 30 years from now, she will likely remember what her mother looked like and her father looked like and what a sunrise looked like. She will experience the world around her in a tremendous way still.”

Lizzy’s parents have determined to create a visual bucket list for their daughter in order to provide her with all of the beautiful sights of the world for her mind to remember.

“We looked at the stars, we went to the local observatory, we caught lightning bugs, we’ve gone to see plays,” her father said.

“We woke her up to see the sunrise. She was pretty tired and not overly thrilled at first, but eventually she said ‘pretty,’ and then immediately became more interested in the sand,” her father said, laughing. “I know I had never seen one before and I was moved.”



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