For the first four months of his life, Leopold Wilbur Reppond suffered from a rare disorder called oculocutaneous albinism. The condition affects the color of a person’s hair, skin, and eyes. In this case, Leo was unable to see properly.
Now, due to the help of a Los Angeles-based pediatric ophthalmologist Kenneth Wright, who got them special infant glasses for Leo—which still contains normal lenses, but the frames are made from a rubbery material, have no screws, no hinges, and no sharp edges. Leo can finally see his mother for the very first time.
“Hi honey,” Mrs. Reppond greeted Leo. Leo then responded by looking up at his mother’s eyes—with a huge smile on his face.
“I had some issues holding the camera because I was crying so much,” Leo’s father, David Reppond, told MailOnline. “I was overwhelmed with emotion. It’s just very touching. You cannot anticipate how you’re going to feel when something like that happens. It was very heartwarming. Leo looked at my wife for the first time and saw her for the first time.”
“He can see us now. He’s starting to see objects in front of him for the first time,” He said. “He’s smiling a lot more and he can see everybody in the room, he’s interacting more.”
Leo’s father says Leo is “seeing the world differently.”
“He loves the light and he loves being outdoors where he can see the grass and the blue sky,” he said.
The Repponds live in Seattle, Washington. According to David Reppond, the special moment didn’t leave “a dry eye in the house.”
An estimated one in 20,000 people worldwide are born with oculocutaneous albinism, according to Genetics Home Reference.