Meet Jayce, the Medical Miracle (Videos) Super-preemie finds brighter future through non-invasive eye treatment

Dr. Elena Rossi looks into Jayce's eyes.

Dr. Elena Rossi looks into Jayce’s eyes after a new procedure saved his sight.

After overcoming ovarian cancer, Lacey Collins was told she would never be able to have children. So when she learned she was pregnant with her little boy, Jayce, she was thrilled.

Jayce was her little miracle who came along when she least expected it.

But Jayce was born 4 months premature. At only 1 lb., 9 oz., Jayce could fit in the palm of your hand. The super-preemie had complications with his heart, lungs and eyes – unable to breathe or eat on his own.

Medically, Jayce had everything riding against him.

For the first month of his life, Jayce fought for his life under the care of Dr. Elena Rossi and a team of doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

Jayce also had a rapid, progressive form of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a common eye disease among preemies that can lead to blindness.

An estimated 400 to 600 U.S. infants become legally blind from ROP each year, according to the National Eye Institute.


Dr. Richard Hertle holds Jayce.

Doctors had only a 72-hour window of time to treat Jayce before he could permanently lose his eyesight. Still on a ventilator and requiring a feeding tube, surgery would put too much stress on his fragile body.

But through a new non-invasive treatment at Akron Children’s Hospital, Dr. Richard Hertle was able to save Jayce’s sight without having to step foot in an operating room.

With Lacey by her son’s side, Jayce received Avastin® injections to inhibit the growth for abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye that can lead to blindness in babies with ROP.

“Because the procedure is done so quickly, that allows us often not to have to anesthetize. This treatment option is saving these babies’ eyes,” said Dr. Hertle. “With Jayce, he responded dramatically – almost miraculously – to the medication.”

After a 5-minute procedure and a nap, Jayce’s future was much brighter. Fast-forward six months later and Jayce is a smiling, thriving, healthy boy.

“To know that I have him, for him to be where he is today, to have gone through all those struggles, is nothing short of a miracle,” said Lacey. “Akron Children’s Hospital, as a whole, saved my son.”

Listen to the radio spot featuring Jayce.


Watch the two TV spots featuring Jayce below.

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