TODAY   |  April 04, 2014

Facebook post saves sight of 3-year-old girl

A little Mississippi girl was diagnosed with a rare eye disease because after her mom posted a picture of her 3-year-old daughter on Facebook. Crowdsourcing may have actually saved some of her daughter’s vision.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> a story of a family that did that and may have saved their daughter's vision. tamron's got the story from the orange room .

>> hey there, savannah. when she uploaded a photo of her 3-year-old daughter riley , her friends were paying close attention. so when one of them said something might be wrong, she listened.

>> riley taylor loves gymnastics, books and playing dress-up. the active 3-year-old never showed any signs that her vision was impaired.

>> walk on the balance beam , ride her bike, watch tv with her sister.

>> riley even does her own hair, something her proud mom tara captured and shared with her friends in october. several friends liked the photo and left comments about riley 's beautiful new do. but one friend noticed something was off in the picture.

>> a glow in the eye from a picture can mean there's something wrong with the eye. so i text tara and said, hey, it could be nothing, it could be the flash, but there could be something wrong with riley 's eye.

>> tara and her husband jason took more pictures of riley that night and discovered her glowing eye was not a one-time camera fluke.

>> i wouldn't say we were terrified, but there was definitely concern. because we thought worst-case scenario, what if our child has cancer.

>> the taylors moved quickly and brought her to an ophthalmologist who performed a vision test .

>> she said, mama, i can't see it. it took my breath away. because i said i can't believe she can't see at all out of her left eye .

>> a retina specialist diagnosed riley .

>> it affects 1 in 100,000 patients. normal blood vessels are dialated. and the fluid accumulates in the back of the eye in the retina causing vision loss .

>> the glow was a reflection of a white scar in her retina and cholesterol deposit in her eye, two telltale signs of the disease.

>> if this had not been detected at the time it was, she probably would've ended up having a total retinal detachment.

>> it's unlikely she'll recover full vision in her left eye , but thanks to laser treatment and injectio injections, some of her peripheral vision has been restored.

>> it's made a huge impact. it's changed our lives, actually. well, the taylors are fortunate they caught the disease fairly early, it could have been worse. sometimes it can indicate something serious like an eye cancer . guys, it's an incredible story. and people should pay attention to it.

>> sometimes people talk about the perils of social media .