DENVER (CBS4)– A baby who was born with no eyes is thriving after several surgeries and the unconditional love of his parents and family.
Chet Oliver Smith was born to Sam and Kyle Smith in late May. The new parents were ecstatic but doctors quickly learned that Chet couldn’t breathe.
He had a blockage of his nasal passageway. Later they discovered that he would never see.
Chet was born with a condition called “anophthalmia.”
“It’s the absence of one or both eyes and Chet’s missing both,” said Sam.
“It was definitely a shock at first. You don’t even think that a kid could be born without eyes,” said Kyle.
“It’s pretty rare. It happens in less than every 100,000 births,” said Neonatologist David Horst with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
“You count their fingers, you count their toes. Nobody looks for that sort of thing,” said Sam.
Now the Smith family is seeing past that. Chet has spent seven weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
He has undergone five surgeries to correct his breathing. His parents have accepted and even embraced his blindness.
“I like that he will know people for their hearts and that’s it,” said Sam.
Kyle envisions a little football fan, “Can’t wait for the Broncos season to start and listen to the game and explain to him what’s going on.”
Sam already wears Chet’s name in Braille, in a necklace that was a gift from Kyle.
She wants what all mothers hope for, “Happiness, love, acceptance. I want him to see the world his own way.”
The Smiths hope they can take Chet home this week. He will eventually have surgery to receive prosthetic eyes.