By Meredith Cohn
When Tamika Morgan developed red irritated eyes in the fall of 2010, she wasted no time heading to an optometrist at a local retail store who gave her drops for pink eye.
Her eyes got worse over the next few days so she went to a local hospital to see an ophthalmologist, but a specialist wasn’t available. A weekend passed and she landed in the office of a retina expert at another hospital, and by then she couldn’t read the big E on the vision chart.
She was legally blind.
Dr. Lisa Schocket, the retina specialist at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s Eye Center, suspected Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, a rare disease that can turn a patient’s hair and skin white in addition to hampering hearing and sight. She’d only seen it one other time.