Larry Rayborn Shares His Incredible Journey
I was born two months early in 1959 and was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue in the eye that enables us to see. This growth can cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye, leading to blindness.
When I was about two years old, I was constantly rubbing my eyes, and that’s when my parents decided to take me to Texas Children’s Hospital. Although I lost sight in one eye, the doctors there were able to save the other eye, and I am so grateful.
As a young boy, I adjusted to depending on one eye to view the world. My mother always joked that I spent every summer bumping into things on my right side, but I was just like any other boy, roughhousing and having fun! I eventually had my right eye removed and replaced with a prosthesis.
Life is an incredible journey. I feel lucky to have had a great career as a mechanical equipment supervisor. I love my job, and it has given me the opportunity to travel the United States and the world, performing maintenance on power plant machinery. Because of my impaired eyesight, I am very concerned about safety and take every precaution to protect my vision at work and at home. When you have sight in only one eye, you can’t take it for granted.
My journey has led me back to Texas Children’s, and I support ophthalmology research at the hospital because I’d like to find a cure for ROP and help future generations of children. Through research, I hope that people can receive help today and decades from now. Texas Children’s helped me, and I feel like if I can help someone else, everyone will benefit. If I can help through my donation to save children’s eyes, then it’s been money well spent. I hope that they, too, can have a fulfilling life and journey in their future.