My name is Carrie Hopkins and I am from Hagerstown, Maryland. I was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease when I was just nine years old. I was in the fourth grade when my school performed the standard hearing and vision tests. I first noticed that I couldn’t see the “barn” in my left eye. After a few attempts, we realized I could barely see anything with my left eye. My mom took me to my eye doctor and he simply said it was just a “lazy eye.” My mother brought the subject up to my pediatrician, who said that didn’t make sense and referred us to Baltimore, Maryland.
In Baltimore, we saw a few different eye doctors, but finally one told us that I had Coats’ Disease. He also said that he was unable to treat me and I would need to go to Philadelphia to Wills Eye Hospital, where I met Dr. Shields. From there, everything went pretty fast. They told me that my retina and cornea had almost completely detached due to the fluid caused by Coats’ Disease.
Over the years, I’ve had cataract removal surgery and surgery on my eye muscle. Coats’ Disease has changed my life and every day is a challenge. I have no depth perception, so when I walk, I am very careful. But I don’t let Coats’ Disease stop me from living my life! I am now 25 years old and, while I still battle with having Coats’ Disease, it has made me the woman I am today.