Editorial | Holly’s hope

A story in last week’s Reporter focused on the efforts of Holly Connor’s parents to secure treatment to restore Holly’s eyesight. Little Holly is blind due to a rare condition that hindered the normal development of her ability to see.

Holly’s parents, Katie and Dan Connor, are trying — as any parent would — to do what is best for their child. Holly has been taken to see specialists and enrolled in research studies to help find a treatment for her blindness. Like many families faced with a disability or illness, her parents have learned all that they can about her condition and available treatments. They have spent countless hours researching her condition, visiting doctors, and talking to the parents of other children like Holly. And they have found a treatment that has a real chance of helping Holly to see.

Holly and her family need help to meet the $75,000 to pay for a procedure to treat her condition in Asia. The procedure that they have found has not been approved yet in the United States, but has been successful in treating patients elsewhere. Is it expensive and does it present risks? Yes. But risk comes with nearly any medical procedure. Holly’s parents have weighed those concepts carefully.

One thing is certain, that time is of the essence for little Holly and children like her. The younger that children are when they have this procedure — a stem cell transplant — the better the outcome. And Holly, 4, has other challenges. She is autistic. Her ability to see is key in successfully navigating the world ahead.

It is our job to inform readers. But the complexity of a medical procedure like this is only matched by the wide range of opinions about its benefit. The story’s emphasis on the judgement of one physician came across to some readers as unfair and uncaring. It was not our intent to portray the Connors as reckless. Of course, they are not. They love their lively little girl more than life itself. They are brave. They know they have to try. We know we would do the same thing if we were in their shoes.

We wish them all the best.

To learn more about Holly and how to help, go to http://sites.google.com/site/hollylynnconnor.

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