Five seconds is all it took for Ryder Moore’s life to change for the better.
In 2015, Ryder, then four years old, had his vision tested by the Oklahoma Lions Club at his Cushing, Oklahoma pre-school. The Lions Club performed this test using the Spot Vision Screener, a fast and objective way to detect up to six amblyopic risk factors that may lead to blindness in children or impaired vision development. In a non-intrusive span of five to eight seconds, the Spot Vision Screener indicated Ryder had extreme farsightedness in his left eye.
“I remember thinking it was bogus,” says Emily Moore, Ryder’s mother. “But my mom radar was on and it was a few weeks later that my husband and I noticed Ryder was turning his head slightly to watch television.” Emily asked Ryder why he was turning his head. “It’s because I can see better!”, Ryder exclaimed. At that moment, Emily decided to follow-up on Ryder’s vision screening results and make an appointment with their local optometrist.
Emily remembers the trip to the optometrist as being traumatic. The optometrist confirmed the test results from Ryder’s vision screening with the Spot Vision Screener and sure enough, he was severely deficient in his left eye and would need glasses. Although Emily trusted her optometrist, she wanted another opinion.
Emily and her husband drove an hour to Tulsa, Oklahoma to meet with a paediatric ophthalmologist and discuss Ryder’s potential vision disorder. After two hours of testing, the paediatric ophthalmologist confirmed the diagnosis. Since Ryder’s vision disorder was caught at a young age, the ophthalmologist decided to patch Ryder’s right eye to correct his left eye. Desperate for a sign of hope, Emily felt this was the best course of action to fix Ryder’s vision disorder.
The day Ryder’s glasses arrived, the Moore family was scheduled to have family photographs taken. Before the photo shoot, Ryder tried on his new glasses and the first thing he said was, “Oh my gosh, you guys are so big!” Emily was in tears and couldn’t believe how much clearer everything was for him. Since that day, Ryder has been happy to wear his glasses. In school, he had been an above-average student, but now he excels at everything he does. Ryder is currently in first grade, loves math, and has exceptional reading skills. He is often chosen for speaking parts in school programs and assemblies because of his academic excellence and tremendous personality.
For nearly a century, Lions Club International has championed the eyesight cause by recycling glasses, launching Lions Eye Banks to support eye-saving surgeries, operating guide dog programs, and establishing the SightFirst disease eradication initiative. Since launching KidSight USA in 2014, the Oklahoma Lions have screened about 25,000 children in the Sooner State. “Significantly, these eye screenings have an average referral rate of 5 to 12 percent,” says Oklahoma Lions KidSight USA director, Tom Cummings. While the Lions screen children up to 18 years old, they are most concerned with children age six months to six years at day-care centres, kindergartens and schools. In Oklahoma, the Lions Club have nine Spot Vision Screeners, shared by clubs across the state. In 2017, those cameras were used by 220 volunteers at 53 screening sessions. “I am so thankful the Lions Club used the Spot Vision Screener at Ryder’s school,” says Emily. “I know we would have eventually discovered Ryder’s problem, but it could have been too late.”
Five seconds is all it took for the Spot Vision Screener to change Ryder’s life and, despite wanting a second opinion, Emily hopes other parents will trust the results and act immediately.
Emily adds, “It changed our lives, and I know it can do the same for others.”