Camila Florez’s Inspiring Journey: Overcoming Challenges with Pigment Vascular Syndrome and Glaucoma
Born in Venezuela in October 2018, Camila Florez began a remarkable journey soon after her birth when she was diagnosed with the rare condition known as Pigment Vascular Syndrome.
Camila’s mother, Adrana Valera, vividly remembers the time of Camila’s birth. Her skin exhibited a pronounced purplish hue, and her face was intensely red. Despite this, Camila’s vital signs and responses were normal and in line with those of a newborn baby.
The initial months of Camila’s life were marked by numerous medical evaluations spanning various specialties including cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology, and dermatology. These evaluations aimed to uncover any additional conditions beyond the skin-related one and provide insights to Camila’s pediatrician about her health.
Thanks to the diligent medical evaluations recommended by her pediatrician, a pivotal discovery was made when Camila was just 4 months old. Alongside her dermatological condition, she was diagnosed with bilateral congenital glaucoma. This revelation led to emergency surgery in both of her eyes at just 5 months old.
Camila’s journey with her conditions continued, and by the time she turned 4 years old, she faced another challenge. Increased intraocular pressures and optic nerve deterioration in both eyes became apparent. Her ophthalmologist initially explored a laser treatment option to address the elevated pressures, but when this proved ineffective, a different procedure was recommended. Camila’s case was brought to the attention of a group of doctors worldwide to find the most suitable therapeutic solution.
In this global effort, Camila’s Venezuelan doctor reached out to Dr. Vanessa Vera, an accomplished ophthalmologist based in California, USA. Dr. Vera, recognizing the expertise of Dr. Tosin Smith, referred Camila to the Cure Glaucoma Foundation for potential treatment.
Camila’s family embarked on the process of arranging the necessary documentation and logistics to enable her to travel to Dallas, Texas, for a crucial medical consultation with Dr. Smith.
Upon her arrival in Dallas, Camila was welcomed by the medical team at Glaucoma Associates of Texas for a comprehensive ophthalmological evaluation. Dr. Smith’s assessment confirmed the urgency of a surgical procedure in both eyes to address the elevated intraocular pressures.
The collaborative efforts of the entire team at Glaucoma Associates of Texas and Cure Glaucoma were pivotal in ensuring Camila’s well-being during her stay in Dallas. The surgery was scheduled for the following week (early June 2023) after her evaluation. Remarkably, just seven days post-surgery, Camila displayed significant recovery and a notable decrease in intraocular pressures. Her continued progress was closely monitored through regular check-ups for several weeks by Dr. Smith.
Camila was given the green light to return to Venezuela and continue her follow-up treatment with her local physician, Dr. Petito. In early August, Adrana shared with us the wonderful news that Camila’s intraocular pressures continue to be excellent!
Camila’s journey serves as an inspiring testament to the power of medical collaboration, determination, and hope. Her story underscores the impact that specialized care and global expertise can have on transforming lives.
The Cure Glaucoma Foundation extends its heartfelt recognition to the exceptional team that played a crucial role in preserving Camila’s eyesight. This remarkable group includes:
Tosin Smith, M.D. (Glaucoma Associates of Texas, Cure Glaucoma Board Member)
Joana Rich, M.D.
Jacqueline Abraham, CRNA
Kristen Ogg, M.D.
Lori Dao, M.D.
Judy Cook, R.N.
Lisa Wesner, LVN
Denise Delrio, CST
Maria Guedilla, CST
Hemi Cirerol, MA
Their dedication and expertise have made an indelible impact on Camila’s journey.
Camila’s story is part of our annual North Texas Giving Day fundraising efforts. Please use the link in the image below if you would like to make a donation.