Oculocutaneous Albinism


  • Baby Leopold suffers from a rare disorder called oculocutaneous albinism
  • Condition affects color of his hair and skin and severely impairs his vision
  • Leopold received new pair of glasses and saw mother clearly for first time.


  • The heartwarming video shows the youngster smiling in delight at mother. Watch video here



This is the tear-jerking moment a four-month-old baby smiled in delight after seeing his mother clearly for the first time in his life.

Leopold Wilbur Reppond, known as Leo, suffers from a rare disorder called oculocutaneous albinism.

The condition affects the color of a person's hair, skin and eyes and means that the youngster is unable to see properly.

Leo's film producer father David, 39, said ‘cuteness went through the roof' when his son smiled for the first time, adding that there 'wasn’t a dry eye in the house'. 

'I had some issues holding the camera because I was crying so much,' Mr Leopold said.

‘I was overwhelmed with emotion. It’s just very touching. You cannot anticipate how you’re going to feel when something like that happens. It was very heartwarming.

‘Leo looked at my wife for the first time and saw her for the first time.'

Mr Leopold and his wife Erin, 35, live in Seattle, Washington, having recently moved back there to be close to their families.

Leo was born with Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA), which affects one in 20,000 children and affects the colour of their skin, hair and eyes and leaves them with extremely bad vision.

The Repponds sought treatment from Los Angeles-based pediatric ophthalmologist Kenneth Wright and got special infant glasses from Miraflex, a US glasses company.

The glasses Leo wears have normal lenses but are made of a rubber like material which has no screws, no hinges and no sharp edges.

Mr Reppond said that he and his wife, who works in a microbrewery, recently invited their families round for a small gathering at which they put Leo’s glasses on for the first time.

In the video Leo has a pair of glasses pulled down over his head by his mother and is given the opportunity to see for the first time. 

fter a momentary bit of confusion as the spectacles are placed on him, he looks up at his mother who says: 'Hi honey'.

He makes eye contact with her and then immediately reacts by smiling.

The response is met with gasps of surprise and delight from the other people in the room and a male voice can be heard saying: 'Oh he's smiling'.

The youngster's mother then readjusts the glasses so that they sit better before staring into her son's eyes.

He looks down for a bit, while allowing his eyes to adjust to what must be a very strange sensation, before looking back up.

I was overwhelmed with emotion. It’s just very touching. You cannot anticipate how you’re going to feel when something like that happens
-Leo's father David 

The video concludes with him focusing on his mother and

beaming with delight. He even begins giggling as she continues to talk to him.

Mr Reppond said that before his son used to ‘see with his hands’ because his eyes were poor. 

Leo's father would put his beard next to the boy’s face so he could touch it and know who it was.

He said: ‘He can see us now. He’s starting to see objects in front of him for the first time.

‘He’s smiling a lot more and he can see everybody in the room, he’s interacting more.

‘He loves the light and he loves being outdoors where he can see the grass and the blue sky. He loves toys and he’s starting to reach for things.

‘He’s seeing the world differently’.

Because of his OCA condition, Leo will face other challenges later in life such as being susceptible to cancers and melanoma due to his fair skin.

According to the NHS, a person with oculocutaneous albinism is missing the pigment from their irises, which is the colored part of the eye.

This can lead to a number of eye conditions, including impaired vision and sensitivity to light.