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Lily Etherton, a two-year-old from Salem, Oregon, was born with blepharophimosis ptosis epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES), which caused her to have droopy eyelids that prevented her from fully opening her eyes. This condition led to frequent falls and bumps, as Lily was unable to see properly. Her parents, Ashley and Erik Etherton, decided that their daughter needed surgery to help lift her eyes to prevent any developmental delays or vision impairment. After consulting with Dr. Ramon Medel, an orbital and lacrimal surgery specialist in Spain, the Ethertons decided to fly to Spain for a non-FDA approved surgery that could potentially correct Lily’s vision issues. The surgery, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, was funded through a successful fundraising campaign led by Ashley Etherton.

Prior to the surgery, Ashley Etherton spent 40 hours a week for four months fundraising for the operation by selling desserts, holding benefit raffles, and sharing Lily’s story with the community. The Ethertons were able to raise roughly $32,000, which covered the surgery, flights to Spain, and other expenses related to the procedure. The surgery was a success, with Lily now being described as “sassier, sillier, and more energetic” by her mother. Ashley Etherton plans to invest the remaining funds raised to assist Dr. Medel in seeking FDA approval for the life-changing surgery he performed on her daughter. The family has shared updates on Lily’s improved eyesight on social media platforms like TikTok, where Ashley expressed gratitude for the surgery that allowed her daughter to see the world more clearly.

The Ethertons’ journey to help their daughter overcome her vision issues highlights the challenges faced by families dealing with rare medical conditions and the lengths they go to seek proper treatment. By raising funds through community support and sharing Lily’s story, the family was able to afford the expensive surgery and travel expenses required for the procedure in Spain. Ashley Etherton’s commitment to fundraising and advocating for her daughter’s health played a crucial role in the success of Lily’s surgery and subsequent improvement in her vision. The family’s determination and perseverance in seeking the best possible care for Lily demonstrate the love and dedication parents have for their children’s well-being.

Dr. Ramon Medel’s expertise in orbital and lacrimal surgery was instrumental in providing Lily with the life-changing procedure that has significantly improved her quality of life. The successful outcome of the surgery has not only benefited Lily but also inspired the Ethertons to support Dr. Medel in his efforts to seek FDA approval for the innovative technique used in Lily’s case. By sharing their experience with others, the family hopes to raise awareness about the importance of early intervention and specialized care for children with rare medical conditions that impact their vision and overall development. Lily’s story serves as a testament to the power of community support and medical innovation in transforming the lives of those facing significant health challenges.

The Ethertons’ decision to seek treatment for Lily’s vision issues has resulted in a positive outcome that has greatly impacted their daughter’s well-being and future prospects. Through their perseverance and fundraising efforts, the family was able to afford the costly surgery and travel expenses associated with seeking treatment abroad. The success of the surgery not only improved Lily’s eyesight but also boosted her confidence and energy levels, as described by her mother. The Ethertons’ commitment to supporting Dr. Medel in his quest for FDA approval reflects their gratitude for the life-changing surgery that has enabled Lily to see the world in a new light. Lily’s journey towards better vision serves as a reminder of the transformative power of specialized medical care and the unwavering love and dedication of parents in advocating for their children’s health and happiness.

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