baby with closed eyes

‘Smiley’ baby born with no eyes finally found a happy home after mom abandoned him

Baby Sasha was born with no eyes. He is one of three children in the whole world born with this rare condition. Bute is the only one from Tomsk, Russia. Sasha’s mother believed she couldn’t provide her son with what he needed for his medical treatment. So she left him at an orphanage. However, one nurse who cared for him as a six-month-old said, “He is no different to other children, he plays and smiles just like any healthy baby. He loves playing and adores swimming. He is a very cheerful baby indeed.”

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A Baby Born With No Eyes

baby with no eyes, SOX2 Anophthalmia Syndrome
Baby Sasha. Image Credit: Valery Kasatkin

Sasha, and the two other babies like him, were born with SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome. It often comes with many serious health problems. Sasha suffered from two benign cysts on his forehead, but after their removal, he is in good health. However, there is no chance that Sasha will be able to see. To prevent his face from becoming deformed from the lack of eyeballs, doctors implanted tiny orbs into his eye sockets. Because of his young age, he’ll need surgeries every six months to increase the orb size to suit his growth.

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Nevertheless, Sasha has captured the hearts of all who meet him. The nurses at the orphanage became determined to find a loving home for him. They describe him as a “peaceful, smiling baby” who “smiles back as soon as he hears familiar voices”.

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Doctor Tatiana Rudnikovich said, “Sasha is going through all regular checkups and tests like any other baby of his age. He is doing well.” [1]

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In November 2020, Sasha was adopted by parents from another Russian city. One of the women who cared for him speaks for all of us as she said, “We are, of course, very happy for baby Sasha and wishing him and his parents all the best.” [2]

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baby with no eyes, SOX2 Anophthalmia Syndrome
Baby Sasha. Image Credit: Valery Kasatkin

Read: A gay couple found a baby boy abandoned on the subway. Now, he’s their son

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Another Case of SOX2 Anophthalmia Syndrome

One of the other babies born without eyes is Archie Innes in Australia. He also suffers from hearing impairment, severe gross motor delay, several brain abnormalities, and moderate aspiration — an issue that involves fluids entering his lungs. 

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His mother, Fiona, has spoken about how these issues impacted Archie’s development. “Because he was born black blind, he doesn’t have any spatial awareness, and even the most basic movements are complicated to teach him,” she said.

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Fiona and her husband Stevie learned about her baby’s condition when she was 28 weeks pregnant. “On that day, our lives changed forever,” she said.

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Fiona and her husband Stevie with their daughter, and son, Archie.
Fiona and her husband Stevie with their daughter, and son, Archie. Image Credit: Christopher Pierce via The Sydney Morning Herald

Unlike Sasha, Archie receives his food and fluids through a tube. He spent half of his infanthood in the hospital. However, Fiona describes him as a “smiley baby” who still liked to explore his world despite his developmental delays. Meanwhile, he works with a guide dog for movement and awareness training. He also likes his musical toys. “Currently we want him to have as much therapy as possible – he needs lots of exposure to get social awareness and be independent,” said Fiona.

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Despite the challenges, his family remains positive and encouraging to other families in similar positions. “It’s just a different journey but it’s an exciting one,” she said. “We are very lucky, and we’re learning so much from [Archie]. We now live life to the fullest – something we took for granted before.”

“My hope for Archie is that he’s happy. I hope he will one day be able to achieve a level of independence that allows him to access the world. I want him to experience love and friendship, and to reach his potential, whatever that may be.” [3]

More About SOX2 Anophthalmia Syndrome

SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome is incredibly rare, affecting one in every 250,000 babies. It causes abnormal development of the eyeballs and other parts of the body. Some people with it are born with no eyes, some with small eyeballs. Additionally, one eye could be more affected than the other. Other symptoms often accompanying this condition include:

  • Seizures
  • Brain abnormalities
  • Slow growth
  • Delayed development of motor skills
  • Learning disabilities
  • Abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea
  • Genital abnormalities

SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome is also called Syndromic microphthalmia 3, Anophthalmia-esophageal-genital syndrome) AEG syndrome, SOX2-related eye disorders. [4]

Keep Reading: The Heartwarming Video of a Baby with Down Syndrome has Taken the Internet by Storm

Sources:

  1. “Nurses seek new home for abandoned baby born without eyes.” News.com.au. October 14, 2019
  2. Will Stewart and Jane Lavender. “’Smiley’ baby born with no eyes finally finds loving home after mum abandoned him.” Mirror. October 20, 2020
  3. Kate Bettes. “’Miracle’ baby Archie born without eyes one of just two cases ever diagnosed.” The Sydney Morning Herald. January 23, 2018
  4. “SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome.” Medline Plus
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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