Waukesha Lions Club helps a toddler see

Posted: 6:04 PM, Apr 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-03 23:38:29Z

WAUKESHA - The saying "It takes a village to raise a child," is even more true for the McDonald family in Waukesha. Their local Lions Club was able to help their toddler Tyler work to gain better vision. 

Tyler is a happy baby. Despite his medical history, Tyler is a strong kid who's full of smiles. His mother Katrina gives all the credit to The Waukesha Lions Club and Supportive Community for putting a smile on her face. 

Tyler is the McDonald's miracle child. He was born premature at 26 weeks, and nearly every month after that was in surgery. Still, he survived.  

"He's a special little boy," said Katrina. 

At six months old the doctors found out Tyler had Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE, which is a type of brain damage that ended up corrupting his vision. 

Katrina says most kids with HIE end up with Cortical Visual Impairment, or CVI, which isn't easy to fix. She tried everything from building a Facebook page to a GoFundMe Page .

Then a friend told Katrina to reach out to the Waukesha Lions Club and they bought Tyler a LightAide.

"He's improved already. I mean, six months from now, a year from now. You know, people can see how much this light aide really has helped," said Katrina. 

The LightAide looks similar to the old Lite Brite toys.  But, it's actually a rather complex tool that teaches Tyler interactive skills. Then, as he gets older it can teach him reading and even math. 

Waukesha Lions Club member Steve Nehs has happily been with the organization for almost  30 years. He says working to help everyone see better always puts a smile on his face. 

"It's taking one more roadblock out of the way, easing the burden somewhat... To make Tyler be as functional as can be humanly possible," said Nehs. 

Both Nehs and  Waukesha Club Members are looking forward to Tyler's continued improvements visually and physically. Nehs gives credit to Tyler's success to the LightAide, but mostly his mom. 

"Katrina, of course, being the super mom that I feel she is anyway. Knowing that it's always going to be used as long as it's effective," said Nehs. 

April is world Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy awareness month and Katrina says spreading the word about HIE should bring more resources to families in need.