When Kelly Harmsen’s then 2 year-old Joshua was diagnosed with Amblyopia, he was required to wear an eye patch to help strengthen the vision in his weak eye. Joshua refused to wear the patch, until his ingenious mom decided to create a DVD with puppets wearing eye patches. The Eye Patch Kids was born, which today has helped numerous kids start “patching”. Here is Kelly’s story:
Did you have any background in media to create the DVD?
No. I’m a hairdresser, but I just put it all together to help out my son!
What has been the response to the DVD?
I have had a great response from parents around the world telling me how much it has helped their child to “patch” and to make it fun. It is also being recommended by a large number of Pediatric Ophthalmologists & Optometrists.
What does your son think of the DVD?
He is 8 ½ now and isn’t patching anymore. He will still put the DVD on occasionally and sing “The Eye Patch Rap” along with the Bjorts. Both he and his sister, Chrysa, 13 ½, think the DVD is pretty cool.
Did your family help you to create the DVD?
My family loves the DVD and were all very supportive. My husband financed the whole project and helped out. My sister played Patty and 2 of the Bjorts and helped me write the script. My girlfriend Andrea played Princess and helped out with so many things to make the DVD what it was. My boss at the time, Ben, helped me coordinate the music and his father did the music for me.
What have been some success stories from The Eye Patch Kids?
One mom emailed me about 4 weeks after she received the DVD for her daughter. She said that her daughter was so taken by Princess that everyday she would get out her pink boa and her pink eyepatch and put on the DVD to start the patching process with Princess. One day, they were at a baseball game and her daughter was dressed head to toe in pink. She was singing very loudly in the stands, “We Wear Our Patches Everyday, Hooray!” which is one of the songs on the DVD. That was a great success story.