Mum says son's sight was saved after stranger spotted abnormality on TikTok

A mum says her baby boy’s sight was saved by a message from a stranger who spotted an abnormality on TikTok.

Lily Fleet, 26, posted a video of the trend where clever edits make it look like she was magically dressing her son Ari Fleet-Neckles, by throwing the clothes at him.

It was randomly spotted by optometrist Laura Brown, 38, who noticed his left eye had a cloudy appearance and an outward squint - in just a few seconds.

She messaged Lily suggesting she get her eight-week-old checked out, and tests revealed he had congenital glaucoma.

He had an urgent operation to open a tube in his eye so fluid could drain out.

Untreated, glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

Lily had been to the doctors already, but had been turned away, until she went armed with Laura's advice.

The fuel operations manager from Romford, east London, said: "I'm so grateful to her for reaching out.

"It’s something I’ll never forget. It would be lovely to have an impact on someone’s life like that.

"It was very brave of her - she had no way of knowing I wouldn’t take it the wrong way.

"After I spoke to her I researched online and I was so terrified.

"When we saw the specialists they said this isn't often picked up before seven months so we're very lucky.

"I wasn't surprised because I had noticed his eye and been to the doctor but Laura encouraged me to make sure I saw a specialist which made all the difference.

"I reckon I would have waited, and he could easily have lost all the vision in that eye.

"It's good to see something positive coming out of social media."

Lily’s video was posted in March 2021.

Laura saw it while scrolling through TicTok as she breastfed her own son.

She noticed Ari’s eye had a cloudy appearance and an outward squint, and a white reflex, all signs of congenital glaucoma.

Lily said she had noticed Ari's eye wasn't focussing and had been reassured it was fine by her doctor at his six week check up.

She was told to come back if the squint hadn't self-corrected by three months.

The cloudiness, which is caused by the undrained fluid, appeared a week later.

Following a chat with Laura the mum went back to her doctor and was referred to specialists at her local hospital the same day, and later an operation.

He'll be monitored as he grows.

Married mum-of-two Laura, 41, from Glasgow, said: "I’m over the moon that a woman and a wee boy I’ve never met have been helped.

"I’m glad I did it and happy that I’ve made a difference.

"I just knew instantly, and I was very sure.

"I was in two minds about reaching out. I worried about being the crazy lady on the internet.

"But you don't always get specialists looking at a baby that young so I decided to go for it.

"I would have wanted someone to do that if it was my baby.

"I'm pleased I did. Getting there early means his eye has the best chance to be as good as it can be.

"He would 100% have lost all or most of the vision in that eye in a couple of months, if it had been left untreated.

"Parents should not ignore their sixth sense.

"If you think there's anything with the eyes that you’re not sure about get it checked out by an optometrist: they are the ones who do eye tests at the opticians."

Lily, who lives with husband Steffan Neckles, 34, Ari, now 19 months and three-month-old son Rue Fleet-Neckles, added: "Parents trust your instincts, if you feel like there’s something wrong always get a second opinion."