Cheshire mum enjoys her baby's first smile as his sight is saved at Alder Hey

  • Watch as baby Leonard smiles as he gets his new glasses and can see clearly for the first time

A one-year-old baby can now see his mum and sister properly after being given new glasses and undergoing three operations.

Doctors at Alder Hey Children's Hospital managed to save the sight of Leonard Walls after he was diagnosed with cataracts.Rachael Fleming, 38, from Ellesmere Port, thought her six-month-old baby was suffering from reflux when she took him to Macclesfield A&E in July 2022.She was referred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital where doctors noticed white specks in his eyes.Rachael said: "We didn't have any idea something was wrong until Macclesfield told us it wasn't reflux, it was infantile spasms.

"He would round his shoulders and pull his knees up and he would scream. It looks like reflux, but it was coming in clusters.

"So doctors said he needed to go to Alder Hey to have a brain scan.

Leonard with Mum Rachael Credit: Liverpool Echo syndication

"Within minutes of the doctor having a look at Leonard, he said 'these are cataracts'.

"I was obviously very shocked and confused. There was such a lot to take in in such a short space of time. As far as I was concerned, he was a happy, healthy baby."Cataracts occur when the lens develops cloudy patches and can usually be treated with surgery.Rachael said: "It got progressively worse. The actual white speck of the cataracts did get bigger, and his development kind of slowed down.

"He stopped making all the cues you would find in a baby, he stopped smiling, stopped laughing, he wasn't moving as much, so we did suspect there was something not right."

Leonard, who is now 13 months old, needed three operations to replace the cloudy lenses inside his eyes, with the last operation taking place in December 2022.

Leonard with his new glasses Credit: Liverpool Echo syndication

In January, he received his first pair of "grown up" glasses, allowing him to see his mum and older sister Liliana clearly for the first time.Rachael said "After three operations he's doing amazing. When he had his first pair of glasses, they said his prime vision was about 30cm.

"Now with his new pair, his prime vision is 60cm. He watches TV now, he takes in everything his sister's doing, he watches her play."It makes a big difference. He wasn't able to see before and without his glasses, I don't think he can see particularly far.

"But when you put his glasses on, the smile you see in the video is the smile we see every day."