Boy's family hopes he gets corneal transplant using his own cells

- A family in Humble is dealing with the aftermath of a rare condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.  The boys' mother has been traveling cross-country from Houston, trying to help one of her son's get the very first corneal transplant, using his own cells.
    Twins Atlas and Ayden are typical three year olds in many ways.  They love to play together, rough-house together, but the big difference is Ayden helps his brother get around, because Atlas is blind.
    Their loving mother, Simone Brooks, was a professional dancer with Cirque du Soleil.  She put her career on hold during her pregnancy, when she was dealing with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome or TTTS.  The rare condition happens when identical twins share a placenta and the blood flows unevenly between the babies.  That means Atlas' body started failing, to help make his brother stronger.
    "I carried out my pregnancy to 35 weeks, and they're both happy and healthy, but one has developed eye issues.  I have been to Pittsburgh for treatment, and they've never seen anything like this condition," explains Simone.  Atlas has undergone thirty surgeries, including seven corneal transplants.  However, his body eventually rejects the implant.  "The eye goes white and you know it's a dead eye," Simone explains.
    Simone believes that hope remains in Pittsburgh, where she travels once a month for help.  "The #1 corneal specialist in the world from London is in Pittsburgh," exclaims Simone.  She says that doctor is hoping he make Atlas become one of the first children to get corneas using his own cells.  At this point, she says the specialist believes it's a promising possibility, but is still trying to get FDA approval for the treatment.  Simone says the doctor believes Atlas would NOT reject his own lab-made corneas and would finally be able to see long-term.
    Meanwhile, Simone holds down three jobs teaching dance in Houston, including to her own children, and she cherishes teaching them may things.  She has already taught Ayden to read, at this young age!  "I'm a teacher by nature, a mother by heart.  I love my babies and want the best for them.  I'll go to any length, - that's what I'm willing to do , any length," says Simone.
    Simone encourages mothers to stick to their gut instincts, because family and doctors first encouraged her to have her son's eyes removed.  "My child can now have a chance of seeing - mother's intuitions are everything," she smiles with tears in her eyes.  Simone believes in miracles and says it's just a matter of time before her son receives his miracle.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003008.htm

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