Zac Morey had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital after he developed a rare “covid eye,” following a positive Covid-19 test. According to his mother, Angela, the swollen eye looked like it was going to explode, and she became terrified.

“There was no way he could open it without pulling the skin. It was swollen beyond anything I’ve ever seen,” said the concerned mother. Doctors who treated the young boy said that if the covid eye had gotten any worse Zac could have gone permanently blind.

Zac Morey, his four siblings and his mother all tested positive for Covid-19 on Dec. 16. The UK boy reportedly spent his quarantine with mild flu like symptoms, but happily enjoyed playing video games for a week straight. He later tested negative for the virus on Dec. 22, but then developed a pain in his eye.

At first, his family thought the eye pain was caused by his increased screen time during the family’s quarantine.

By Christmas Eve, the eye swelled up at an alarming rate and his mother took him to Bristol Royal hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with orbital cellulitis, a bacterial infection in the eye that has been linked to some cases of Covid-19.

“They said if it goes too far into the eye then it can cause blindness. The doctors said it was an allergic reaction to the virus that affects children,” said mom Angela.

Zac Morey developed an infection in his eye after testing positive for Covid-19. According to doctors, the 9-year-old almost went blind. (Credit: Angela Morey Twitter)
Zac Morey developed an infection in his eye after testing positive for Covid-19. According to doctors, the 9-year-old almost went blind. (Credit: Angela Morey Twitter)

The young boy was placed on an IV drip and given antibiotics. Doctors were considering operating on the young boy to drain the fluid in his Covid eye if the IV drip didn’t work. Thankfully the treatment worked, and by Dec. 26, Zac Morey has recovered and the swelling in his eye had gone down. The 9-year-old is still able to see.

According to Angela, she was glad that her son wasn’t in pain during his stay in the hospital and was said that he was actually pretty interested in the whole process. On Christmas Day, the mom of five rushed over to the hospital to make sure that Zac had presents on Christmas morning, only to find that the 9-year-old had received donated presents by the hospital’s charity, Grand Appeal.

She later posted a photo of Zac Morey on Twitter surrounded by his presents.

“They’d decorated and given him pajamas and Lego and he could just chill out watching films on the telly. I think he actually found it quite interesting, being in hospital for the first time – he wasn’t scared at all, he was just intrigued by it all,” she said.

Zac Morey had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital after he developed a rare "Covid eye." (Credit: Angela Morey Twitter)
Zac Morey had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital after he developed a rare “Covid eye.” (Credit: Angela Morey Twitter)

While Zac Morey is now healthy, his family is warning others about the dangers of Covid eye. According to a study done earlier this year, doctors found that there have been multiple reports of eye reactions after testing positive for Covid-19.

The study said, “Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 can present with acute conjunctivitis symptoms, including eye redness, ocular irritation, eye soreness, foreign body sensation, tearing, mucoid discharge, eyelid swelling, congestion and chemosis.”

Dr. Annie Nguyen, from University of California‘s Roski Eye Institute, said doctors are still uncertain about how often Covid eye occurs in patients, despite the number of studies that have been published.

She said, “It is still uncertain exactly what percentage of patients with COVID-19 have ocular manifestations and different sources are reporting different numbers. Since the start of the pandemic, besides conjunctivitis, COVID-19 has been reported to be associated with other ocular problems including episcleritis, uveitis, lacrimal gland inflammation, changes to the retina and optic nerve, and issues with ocular motility. Although rare, some of these issues can lead to vision loss.”