When Tara Taylor put a photo on Facebook, she thought she was just showing off her daughter’s hair. But thanks to friends’ observations, that post ended up saving her 3-year-old’s vision instead.
According to Memphis’ News 3, the Tennessee mom uploaded a photo of her daughter, Rylee, wearing hair bows to the social media site. The girl’s eyes looked like a flash washed them out, but the right one appeared larger and yellowish.
Two of Taylor’s Facebook friends pointed that out and said something seemed off.
One of those friends, Stacy Carter, told TODAY that she thought the yellow in the eye could mean something is wrong. “I just texted Tara and told her, ‘Hey, it could be nothing, it could just be the flash, but there could be something wrong with Rylee’s eye,’” she said.
So Taylor took Rylee to a pediatrician, and then to an eye specialist. They discovered she had Coats’ disease — a condition that causes blood vessels to develop abnormally behind the retina and leads to sight issues and blindness.
Although mom explained that her daughter showed no indicators that she had an eye problem, the Coats’ Disease website says that the “yellow eye” occurs during the early second stage of the five part disease. Dr. Jorge Calzada, an ophthalmologist specializing in retinal surgery who diagnosed Rylee with the condition, explained to Yahoo Shine that her yellow glow resulted from a scar in the back of her retina.
Luckily, social media helped catch the problem early, but as TIME points out, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Three years ago, Deborah Kogan wrote a Slate article about how social media helped save her son. After posting pictures of him while sick on Facebook, friends urged her to go to the hospital. As they predicted, her then 4-year-old had Kawasaki disease and doctors treated him in time.
Now, Rylee can say the same. She visits an eye clinic regularly to make sure she maintains her vision.
While some may tease parents for flooding social media with boastful posts about their child, some cases do prove that sharing really is caring.