Patient of the Month: Athena

August 2021

When Apollonia was four months pregnant, she received a call that would change her life forever.

Her unborn baby girl was diagnosed with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV), an infection with a wide range of symptoms including fever and fatigue to more severe symptoms that may affect the eyes, brain or other internal organs.

After visiting several doctors over the course of three years due to their family moving often, Apollonia was thrilled and relieved to have found a doctor that Athena can open up to and trust. Due to Athena’s prior medical experiences, she developed what mom described as ‘white coat syndrome,’ which made it difficult for her to attend doctor appointments.

Fortunately, Dr. Luxme Hariharan, pediatric ophthalmologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was able to connect with Athena and determine that all she needed was something as simple as a pair of glasses to correct her anomaly.

Prior to having glasses, Athena had a hard time seeing and would often have to squint or hold books and tablets closer to her face for example, and that really affected her overall quality of life. After receiving her glasses, her entire personality and confidence grew. Athena’s parents have seen a change in her behavior and her ability to interact and make friends easier thanks to the help of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

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