NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A surgery scheduled tomorrow in Houston could save the eyesight of a Nacogdoches high school freshman.
However, if the total cost of the experimental procedure isn't raised before the surgery, it will be canceled, according to the family.
A loving brother is relying on faith and his ambitious goals to save his older sister's eyesight.
This Nacogdoches family is facing a medical crisis. Nevaeh Sowell is going blind.
"I thought I just needed glasses, but when we went to surgery they said it was something bigger," Nevaeh said.
The young woman was already blind in her right eye due to the disease keratoconus. That alone worries a mom to no end.
"In time it will just get to the point where she won't be able to see anything," said Leslie Sosa, Nevaeh's mother.
Cross-linking surgery, so new that state insurance won't pay for it, gives Nevaeh hope for continued sight in her left eye. There's a catch.
"There's no money. There's no surgery," Leslie said.
Nevaeh's younger brother, Librado, is determined not to let that happen.
"I knew it was a financial problem with my mom," Librado said. "I experienced a lot of crying and sadness and stress. I just wanted to help out and do my part in that."
Siblings became a team.
"We have been selling chocolates on the side to raise money," Librado said. "We have cans at gas stations."
the 13-year-old's faith is served by the youth ministry, the Glory Gang. It generously donated $2,500.
This morning, the family was $500 short for tomorrow's surgery. A Go Fund Me account had $50 in it for days.
The interview at the Mike Moses Middle School flagpole sparked interest. Networking by concerned parents began. The account has been steadily growing. Through it all, Nevaeh remained so collected.
"Him and my mom, they already stress too much," Nevaeh said. "I just tell them to cool down."
They were wasted words on these two.
"I think she's doing it because she knows I'm hurting and that I'm upset," Leslie said. "My son. He's a big help. He's always been a big help."
"I have goals in my life," Librado said. "I set achievements, and I achieve them."
One close family friend put it this way. Librado is a kid with lots of heart who really loves his family.
If the remaining $500 is raised by tomorrow the surgery will be performed.
There will be many follow-up visits to doctors in Houston and Tyler.
Click here for the link to the Go Fund Me page that has been set up to raise money for Nevaeh's surgery.