Minnesota boy gets customized glasses and a boost of confidence

Updated: October 08, 2019 06:41 PM

A Twin Cities boy is seeing the world a lot better thanks to a new pair of customized glasses that were built for him at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul.

Eight-year-old Bentley Erikson was born with a complex medical condition, including microtia, which means his left ear never fully formed.  For years he struggled with vision problems, but his mom says she could never find a pair of glasses that would stay on.


"I did what all moms do, I thought I could fix this and I bought $250 worth of crafting supplies and tried to "mom engineer" something," Kris Erikson, Bentley's mom, said.

But at Gillette, they have much more than crafting supplies.

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In the "Orthotics, Prosthetics and Seating Department," they like a good challenge.  They create and build devices for patients in every size and color from shoe lifts to braces small enough for a newborn.  They have even built prosthetic arms customized for musical instruments and fishing poles.

So of course, they were able to build Bentley a pair of glasses and a strap system to fit around his hearing aid, his shunt and over his head.

"They dream it up," Erikson said. 

"A lot of patients come to us with unique situations, so we try and come up with unique solutions, " Bradley Fisher, with Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, said. 

The Orthotics,Prosthetics and Seating Deaprtment has 18 locations throughout Minnesota. The department books 2,500 appointments a month.

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Ellen Galles

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