A lot of people enjoy taking newborn pictures of their children and sharing them with people. Patricia Williams was no exception to this. She lovingly photographed her son. But when it came to sharing his pictures with others, she was met with a nasty surprise.
Keep reading to know more…
In 2012, Patricia’s son Redd was born. The little boy was born with white hair but it was only when he was two months old that his mother started noticing several different things about him.
The infant’s eyes would move side to side and when her husband Dale ventured to Google the reason for this, he was met with a shocking revelation; it was a symptom associated commonly with albinism. Having not even heard the term before, Patricia was skeptical but the little boy had all the markers for albinism; pale skin, white hair, and tracking eyes.
The next step the couple took was to meet an optometrist and genetic specialists to help with an official diagnosis. It was made official; Redd had Oculocutaneous Albinism Type one (OCA1) a condition which affects 1 in 17,000 people globally.
Patricia recalled the excitement the staff at the hospital had when Redd was born, everyone wanted to see the baby born with white hair and blue eyes. But at the time Patricia did not blink an eye because she and her husband as well as her firstborn son Gage all had blonde hair.
She recalled how a month after they brought Redd home she noticed his hair was so white it would sparkle in the son. And even when she tried blocking his eyes, they would track and he would not avert them. His eyes were also so blue that they would sparkle red in certain lights.
Patricia was sure her son would outgrow these traits but it was only when her second son was born with the same condition that she realized it was a lifelong thing.
Redd had also experienced bullying during school where children made fun of him for looking different. His big brother Gage became protective of him because of it. But when Rockwell was born the family already knew a lot of albinism and hence were fully prepared. But what they had not prepared for was their little boy’s pictures being turned into a meme.
At first Dale and Patricia reached out to everyone who shared the image to delete it but they soon realized that it was an impossible endeavor hence they decided to just ignore the entire thing.
She was worried how the child would be treated in life for being different and how their family dynamics would shift with a child who burned easily and could be legally blind.
She explained why Rockwell received so much attention. She said, “It’s very unusual to see a baby with white hair, and Rockwell’s hair sticks straight up, so it’s very noticeable.”