Rifle parents trying to pay for daughter’s eye surgery | PostIndependent.com

Rifle parents trying to pay for daughter’s eye surgery

John Gardner
Rifle Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post IndependentDaytona Snowden, almost 3 years old, of Rifle, gives her mom, Christina Snowden, a hug.

Daytona Snowden has a smile that will melt your heart. At only 2 years old, her smile endures despite the battle she faces every day.

“My daughter, she doesn’t even know what’s happening, really,” said Daytona’s father, Jimmy Snowden. “She just rolls with the punches.”

Shortly after Daytona turned 1, she was diagnosed with strabismus, an abnormal alignment of one or both eyes. It causes her eyes to cross, constraining her vision.

“We noticed that her eyes started crossing, and it was obvious that she wasn’t seeing very well,” Snowden said.

At first, doctors told Jimmy and his wife, Christina Snowden, that a pair of corrective glasses could fix the problem.

“They worked really well for a while,” Jimmy said.

But the glasses didn’t cure the ailment. Daytona’s eyes started crossing to the point where she couldn’t see even with the glasses, Jimmy said.

Doctors then told the couple that Daytona needed surgery very quickly on her extraocular muscles to correct the misalignment. The extraocular muscles are six small muscles that control movement of the eyeball within the socket.

The couple decided to seek the surgery, but they were suddenly without health insurance because of Jimmy’s recent job change. He had taken a job with an oil field service company and had to wait the grace period before he was eligible for health insurance.

The Snowdens have struggled just to keep paying for the weekly doctor visits, let alone the $12,600 surgery to correct Daytona’s vision. The surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, and they’ve been scrambling to raise money.

Seeing an immediate need, friends and work colleagues have pitched in to help raise the money.

Two of Jimmy’s new co-workers, Josh Curtis and Luke Cody, donated cash.

Rhonda Hunter organized a silent auction, with items on display at her Rifle tattoo shop, Inkology, at 820 Megan Ave. People who want to help can drop by to view the donated items from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 9-11 a.m. on Sunday, or call the shop at 625-3680 to place or raise a bid. Bidding will close at 11 a.m. Sunday to give Hunter time to collect the pledged money and give it to the Snowdens.

A bake sale at the shop tomorrow will also benefit the family.

“I think the community has been extremely generous with everything they have donated. It’s good to see the community is getting behind this little girl so that she can keep her gift of sight,” Hunter said.

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