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Surgery Helps Toddler See and Hear Her Mom for the First Time

The Short of It

A child with pediatric glaucoma sees and hears her mom for the first time with the help of surgery.

The Lowdown

Nicolly Pereira is 2 years old, but she only recently saw her mother's face and heard her voice. That's because the little girl from rural Brazil was born with a rare form of pediatric glaucoma and suffered from impaired hearing. As a toddler in her own little world, Nicolly wasn't thriving—she wasn't even walking—but a surgeon at Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute changed all of that.

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Through a video clip, we're able to experience the moment Nicolly sees and hears her mom Daiana Pereira for the first time. Just try not to well up as the little girl squeaks with joy, and the mother and daughter embrace with sheer relief that they can finally connect in this way.

"The only word that can be used to describe the feeling is 'God.' My daughter is free now. She now shines more than before. She has now become a reference for people who didn't believe in miracles," Daiana told the Miami Herald.

Incredibly, it was Facebook that made this miracle happen. Daiana had posted Nicolly's story on the social media site, where it went viral. Someone in Miami say the little girl's story, and the Jackson Health Foundation's International Kids Fund (Wonderfund), then partnered with a local organization called Kevin Garcia Foundation to raise the $17,000 needed for the surgery.

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The three-hour procedure took place in March, and even surgeon Alana Grajewski didn't think the outcome would be as successful as it is.

"When she arrived, I felt I had made a mistake, because normally when they have the children arrive, they have some sort of vision that's measurable. We have a technician look at them initially and ... they wrote down that Nicolly couldn't see anything, not even a light," Grajewski explained to the Miami Herald.

But after the surgery, Nicolly's vision improved greatly; she went from having an eye pressure of 50 (normal for kids is 10 to 20) to having an eye pressure of 12. The toddler also had water buildup drained from her ears, which allowed her to hear normally.

The Upshot

Nicolly will have to wear glasses for her nearsightedness, but her daily life has become what her mom always dreamed it could be. Her vision will even continue to improve over time.

Meanwhile, doctors at the eye center that gave Nicolly her life back plan to train the eye doctors who performed unsuccessful surgeries on the little girl back home in Brazil so they can take advantage of the latest techniques and learn to recognize signs of pediatric glaucoma earlier, so they can start treatment.

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Here's hoping the incredible moment we saw take place between Nicolly and her mother is replicated for other children who suffer from glaucoma.

And I, for one, will not soon forget the awesome display of true love and happiness I witnessed in that emotional video clip. What is your reaction to seeing that moment?

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