Aliyah Arambul, 5, has spent more than a year slowly regaining eyesight in her right eye after an accident in 2017. Recently, she removed her eye patch for good, celebrating the milestone in a photo shoot.
And when her photographer mother asked who she’d like to portray in her victory movies, the little girl’s answer was simple: a superhero.
“Big announcement! After 2646 hours of patching, 3 surgeries, and too many drops to count, our girl is finally done,” Aliyah’s mother, Jessie Arambul — who runs Jessie Arambul Photography — wrote in a Facebook post on Sept. 6. “Pictures are from yesterday and her literal last time of taking off her patch!”
In the photos, Aliyah, of Pasco, Washington, is dressed in a pink, blue and gold Wonder Woman costume, with a sword in her hands and a patch on her eye. A series of shots showed the little girl slowly removing the patch to reveal her eyes with a smile.
“I got emotional because it’s been a long journey. That was the last time she took off her patch,” Jessie told Good Morning America. “She had the biggest smile on her face when she was done.”
Aliyah damaged her eye with an exercise band when she was 3 years old. Doctors found Aliyah’s iris filled with blood, Jessie told GMA.
She was taken to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland, Oregon, and later treated at the Casey Eye Institute.
“I honestly just thought it was gonna be no big deal,” Jessie told KMTR. “I didn’t expect to spend the next two years of our lives with surgeries and patching.”
Aliyah told the station that she hopes the photos will encourage others experiencing eye problems. “I used to do patching like you,” she said.
Aliyah has worn an eye patch for about four hours each day for the last two years and there have been hard times, Jessie told Inside Edition. Jessie said that’s why it was important for her and Aliyah to document her final day with the patch in such a special way.
“She did have her days she struggled and begged not to have to wear it,” Jessie told the outlet. “However, for the most part, she accepted she needed it to help her eye get better. She was very mature for a 3-year-old.”