Six-month-old baby was ‘born with the eyes of a cat’03/12/2018
Six-month-old baby ‘born with the eyes of a cat’ is the ‘youngest person in UK to ever be diagnosed with rare condition’
- Lilien Molnar was diagnosed with microphthalmia and coloboma at five days old
- Disorders have left her with a narrow and discoloured iris – like a cat’s
- Parents Cintia and David Molnar insist their ‘little princess’ never stops smiling
A six-month-old baby is thought to be the youngest person in the UK ever to be diagnosed with two rare conditions in both eyes that have left her looking ‘like a cat’.
Lilien Molnar, who is blind, was diagnosed with microphthalmia and a coloboma at just five days old.
The disorders have left the youngster, of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, with a narrow and discoloured iris – similar to that of a cat.
Although unable to see and forced to travel many miles for regular hospital appointments, Lilien’s parents Cintia, 26, and David Molnar, 29, insist their ‘little princess’ never stops smiling.
Six-month-old Lilien Molnar is thought to be the youngest person in the UK ever to be diagnosed with two rare conditions that have left her with eyes ‘like a cat’
Pictured with her mother Cintia as a newborn, Lilien was diagnosed with microphthalmia and coloboma when she failed to open her eyes even after five days. Doctors later broke the devastating news that the youngster was blind, which caused Mrs Molnar to ‘collapse’
Pictured in intensive care as a newborn, Lilien is now home and growing well but is still unable to do things most babies can do. Due to her only being able to sense light, the youngster is forced to play with specialist toys and is showing no signs that she may soon be able to crawl
‘Lilien’s eyes are the same size as a cat’s and will never grow properly,’ Mrs Molnar said.
‘When they do grow they will look like a cats with the same line across them.
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‘She’s developing but it’s still upsetting because she can’t see anything. She can’t do things that most baby’s do because she can’t see.
‘It can be really heartbreaking sometimes when we go out to see other children.’
WHAT IS MICROPHTHALMIA?
Microphthalmia is an eye abnormality that arises before birth and affects around one in 10,000 people.
It causes one or both eyeballs to be abnormally small.
They may be so tiny they appear to be missing.
Microphthalmia often occurs due to missing tissue that forms the eyes’ structures.
Sufferers usually have severe vision impairment.
Microphthalmia may be caused by genetic changes or environmental factors during early development, such as radiation or a lack of vitamins during pregnancy.
Surgery and visual aids are usually required.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
Mrs Molnar claims she knows of no children younger than Lilien who have microphthalmia and coloboma in both eyes.
Lilien also suffers from hydronephrosis, which causes both of her kidneys to swell and raises her risk of urinary tract infections.
Although she was ‘devastated’ to discover her daughter’s two conditions, Mrs Molnar is adamant Lilien will have as normal a life as possible
‘She’s our little girl and we want the best for her and we’ll do everything we can to make sure she has the best quality of life possible,’ she said.
Lilien’s condition has left her unable to play with toys, with her also showing no signs of being able to crawl any time soon.
‘She can’t play with normal toys or do lots of things that most normal babies do so obviously that’s tough,’ Mr Molnar, who works in a hotel, said.
‘She can play with toys that emit lights or flash and she enjoys those but she can’t crawl or do things like that at all yet.
‘She smiles all the time though and that warms your heart.’
Despite her conditions, Lilien’s parents insist their ‘little princess’ never stops smiling
Pictured left in intensive care and right at home, Lilien also suffers from hydronephrosis, which causes both of her kidneys to swell and raises her risk of urinary tract infections
Her father Mr Molnar (pictured) finds it ‘tough’ that she cannot do what other babies can
Lilien’s parents discovered she was not growing properly during Mrs Molnar’s 20-week scan. Doctors then warned she may have eye problems at week 34.
However, it was not until Lilien was born that doctors realised the full extent of her condition and rushed her to intensive care.
‘When she was born her eyes weren’t open but we didn’t think anything of it,’ Mrs Molnar said.
‘But as the days went on she still wasn’t opening them. Five days after she was born, the optometrist came in to see her and tried to open her eyes.
‘I saw her looking at the doctors and shaking her head. When they told me she was blind I just collapsed. It was devastating.
‘I remember crying and shouting, saying it wasn’t true and she couldn’t be blind.’
Pictured left in intensive care, Lilien’s parents initially ‘thought nothing’ when she was born with her eyes closed, however, doctors became worried days later when she still had not opened them. Pictured right at home, the couple want to give her the best life possible
Despite her conditions, Mr Molnar said: ‘She smiles all the time and that warms your heart’
Six months on, her parents are finally coming to terms with their daughter’s condition.
‘It’s difficult to think your daughter may never see your face and there are days where that does get to you,’ Mrs Molnar said.
‘But, she’s got an amazing character, she’s strong and determined.’
Since Lilien’s arrival, the couple have spent £3,000 of their savings travelling to London for regular hospital appointments and specialist care.
Writing on their GoFundMe page, Mrs Molnar said: ‘Our financial capabilities started to reach its limit.
‘At the moment we are not entitled to Disability Living Allowance as Lilien is not old enough yet but the travel expenses are extremely high with only 1 person working in the family.’
Mrs Molnar, who also used to be a hotel worker, argues she is unable to earn due to Lilien requiring specialist care that they cannot afford. The pair are hoping to raise £5,000 towards their travel costs.
WHAT IS A COLOBOMA?
A coloboma is a gap in part of the structures of the eye and is caused when they do not develop normally during pregnancy.
It affects around one in 10,000 births.
Coloboma can affect one or both eyes, with the areas it impacts also varying, including the iris, lens, retina or blood vessels.
The affect it has on vision depends on which part of the eye is impacted and how big the gap is.
If it affects the iris, which is common in children, vision is usually fairly good. However, they may dislike bright lights and find their vision becomes distorted.
If coloboma goes back further into the eye, vision is more likely to be affected.
Patients can sometimes also have problems with other parts of their bodies, such as heart defects, undescended testicles and ear abnormalities.
There is no treatment for coloboma, with therapies focusing on supporting children with reduced vision.
Source: Royal National Institute of Blindness
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