It will be a special Christmas for a Nashville couple whose son underwent a life-changing surgery this year to correct his eyes.
Brittain Settle remembers thinking something wasn't quite right with her son's eyes.
“We noticed something the first few months but everybody kept saying, it happens with babies,” said Settle recalled.
Baby Graham's eyes were crossed. His parents tried to wait patiently for the problem to correct itself but Graham didn't outgrow it.
“Then, around four months, my mom was like, ‘I think this is something else.' So around four months we went to see a specialist,” Settle continued.
The Settles took their son to a few different specialists who diagnosed him with an eye disorder called Strabismus. Each doctor seemed to have a different opinion on what to do about it.
“It's hard when it's your child. It was hard for me to go in and say okay, do whatever you think is best,” Settle said.
Her husband, Eric, adding, “The hardest part along the way was knowing when to make a decision, when to do surgery or not to do surgery.”
The couple eventually decided to go ahead with the corrective eye surgery when Graham was eight months old.
It was performed by Dr. Sean Donahue at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The procedure took about 45-minutes and Graham was allowed to go home that day.
The Settles said they are happy they made the decision they did.
“Not only [are we] seeing straight eyes but we could see the two eyes working together,” said Brittain Settle.
Last year, the family's Christmas card had a picture of Graham sleeping on the front of it. It was called “Silent Night.”
This year, the family has a new Christmas card with a photo of their wide-eyed little boy.
“It's just such a blessing and we are so fortunate,” said Brittain Settle.
The couple has some advice for parents who may be considering corrective eye surgery for their own child.
“The surgery is the scariest word when you are talking about a young child. After going through it, I would say don't be scared of the word surgery,” Eric Settle told Nashville's News 2.
Beyond medical benefits, there are obvious social benefits of the surgery.
Adults with the defect can have surgery but doctors told Nashville's News 2 the best results are when it is performed before a patient turns two.