Leo Reppond suffers from Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA), a rare condition which affects coloring of the skin, hair, and eyes. It has left him with extremely impaired vision. So, little Leo has never been able to see his mum Erin clearly – until he tried on his new glasses for the first time last week.
Leo’s film producer father David Reppond, 39, said ‘cuteness went through the roof’ when his son grinned at his wife, adding that there ‘wasn’t a dry eye in the house’. ‘I had some issues holding the camera because I was crying so much,’ he admitted.
‘I was overwhelmed with emotion. It’s just very touching. You cannot anticipate how you’re going to feel when something like that happens. It was very heartwarming. Leo looked at my wife for the first time and saw her for the first time.’
Leo was born with OCA, which is caused by a gene mutation and affects the production of melanin pigment. Parents David and Erin took Leo to see Los Angeles-based pediatric ophthalmologist Kenneth Wright and he helped them get the special infant glasses, which are made by Miraflex, a US glasses company. Leo’s glasses have normal lenses but are made of a rubber-like material which has no screws, no hinges and no sharp edges.
After they received them, David and Erin, who live in Seattle, invited their families round to see Leo wearing his glasses for the very first time. And, well, after that big beaming smile, there were a lot of happy tears. ‘He’s smiling a lot more and he can see everybody in the room, he’s interacting more,’ Dad says of the impact the glasses have made. ‘He loves the light and he loves being outdoors. He’s seeing the world differently’.