Six-Year-Old Boy One Of 60 In The World To Be Born With No Eyes
Despite Christian Buchanan having a challenging upbringing, his mum insists the six-year-old is living a full life.
While he has eyelashes and a eye socket, there's no eyeball. His medical condition, which only affects about 50 to 60 people in the world, also impacts his speech and learning speed.
Mum Lacey tells BarcroftTV: "Christian's condition is called Tessier Cleft Lip and Palate, he has classifications three, four and five which include microphthalmia.
"His condition was caused by amniotic banding syndrome. Fibrous bands can form in the womb and if they attach to the baby they cut off blood flow, so Christian's banding happened to attach to his face.
"Because he is completely blind, he has to learn to navigate the world in the dark.
"Our world is made for sighted people and he has to learn to live in it without the benefit of sight; we have to do things a little differently sometimes but it's totally doable and he is doing it."
She says Christian has already had seven reconstructive surgeries to help his face develop, but Lacey adds that he will likely need many more procedures as 'that's just the nature of this beast'.
But she insists that she's not going to let it hold him back from doing things that other 'normal' six-year-old's experience.
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He's learning to read as well as playing the violin and has already notched up an orange belt in karate.
Doing any of those things with perfect vision is hard enough so it's incredible to see Christian cracking on with life.
Lacey says: "I was unaware before Christian was born that there is this huge social stigma about being different, looking different, and most people didn't know how to handle somebody with that type of difference.
"He has heard people making certain comments. He hears kids say things like, 'Why does he look like that? What's wrong with his eyes?'.
"I have always answered children in a very, positive, upbeat tone and I will say things like, 'Oh, that's just how Christian was born'."
While she understands that putting her son's condition on an international scale brings attention, she hopes it helps people understand it and people can be better educated on how to deal with individuals with different abilities.
"I want do away with those preconceived notions that people have about what it means to have a disability," she says.
"What it means to have a facial difference and I hope that I'm fostering an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding and respect for differences so that the world will just be a better place for Christian one day."
Featured Image Credit: BarcroftTV