Parents stunned as baby born without eyes: 'They are not there'

Robert and Taylor Ice admitted they struggled to 'fully process' their daughter's disorder after the shock at hospital.

A young mum who had eagerly awaited the birth of her first child, and was told to expect a "perfectly healthy baby", immediately questioned medical staff after the birth as to why she couldn't look into her daughter's eyes.

Taylor Ice said she noticed her newborn Wrenley wasn't opening her eyes. "I asked the nurse and she told me, 'Well in the womb it's dark, they don't normally open their eyes right away'," the Missouri mum told US news channel KFVS12.

It was only when the paediatrician was carrying out health checks days later they discovered Wrenley had a rare condition.

Left, Wrenley Ice lies in a hospital bed while connected to wires after being born without eyes. Right, she lies in her dad's arms.
Wrenley Ice was born without eyes due to a rare genetic disorder. Source: GoFundMe and KFVS

"The paediatrician is going over the baby and then he just like stops with the examination and he looks up at us and says, 'Your daughter doesn't have any eyes... they are not there',".

Taylor and her partner Robert admitted they couldn't "fully process what that meant" at the time.

"I just burst into tears," Taylor said.

Baby born with 'rare' genetic eye disorder

Wrenley was born without any eye tissue, without an optic nerve and doesn't produce stress hormone cortisol, with her eyes sealed completely shut.

"It was for me confusing, because one diagnosis led to another diagnosis, which was actually inside that diagnosis—it was just a lot to take in at one time," Robert said.

Robert and Taylor Ice sit side by side with baby Wrenley in Robert's arms.
Robert and Taylor Ice had no idea their daughter had PRR-12 until days after her birth. Source: KFVS

Genetic disorder PRR-12 is an "incredibly rare" condition, with a genetic specialist telling the couple there are less than 30 cases diagnosed in the world, meaning research is limited. There is reportedly a spectrum in which the generic disorder affects individuals, and not all cases impact both eyes or has both completely absent — some simply have a smaller eye.

Despite the surprise, the couple are determined for their daughter to live a full life

"In the long run I feel like it was us that were chosen to help her out along the way and we would learn from her as well," Robert said.

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