Carly Prosser is not even 2 years old but has already touched the lives of many people, including a family overseas.
The North Augusta toddler was diagnosed with cortical blindness at 5 months old and later began suffering from seizures.
The Facebook page Carly Unlimited was created for her, and it has attracted almost 3,000 members from the community, around the United States and even other countries.
Cortical blindness is a neurological visual impairment in which the eyes are functional, but the brain doesn't signal them to see, according to her mother Amy Prosser.
Prosser said that two months after Carly's diagnosis, she started having infantile spasms and the seizures have caused developmental delay. Carly is unable to sit or stand. Carly also has a feeding tube in her stomach due to the frequent seizures.
Carly has been admitted to the hospital 16 times in her 21 months of life, Prosser added. Prosser, who is in the medical field herself, said they have been driving to Memphis to take Carly to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, which has practically become their second home.
“It's a wonderful, wonderful place to be,” Prosser said. “Everyone is like family there now.”
Late last year, the Facebook page was started to share Carly's story and to ask for prayers for the little girl.
A family from Kenya reached out to the family after hearing about Carly, and said their child was suffering from almost the same symptoms. The child later received a similar diagnosis.
Prosser said they have connected with other families going through situations very much like their own, and they've offered each other support.
“That's what gets you through this,” Prosser said. “We share this similar journey, and you just walk it together.”
Prosser said Carly has been a blessing in so many ways, and she's taught her so much. Prosser didn't realize how strong a family she had until now, she said, as she, her husband Terry and their daughter Ansley, 10, have only gotten closer.
Prosser said she also learned not to take the little things for granted, such as something as simple as Ansley having the ability to play softball.
“Those are miracles in themselves,” Prosser said. “The gift to be able to walk, just huge things we take for granted every day; the little things are huge things.”
Prosser has seen kindness from people in her community, and her co-workers at Aiken Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates, P.A. have helped set up fundraisers.
“It's been a rough 21 months, but a blessed 21 months,” Prosser said. “I wouldn't go back. Of course, I would heal Carly today, but she's been such a blessing.”
Several fundraisers are in the works for Carly. To follow Carly's ongoing journey or to stay updated on any upcoming fundraising events, visit www.facebook.com/CarlyUnlimited.
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College and a native of Rustburg, Va.