A Calgary-based company is offering to try to help Liam Reid, the three-year-old Ontario boy who has a rare genetic disease that is slowly robbing him of his sight.
Executives at AGAT Laboratories heard about little Liam Reid, whose family has been fighting with the province of Ontario for almost three years to get help paying for sight-saving surgery in the U.S.
Liam's family wants to take their son to a specialist in Michigan, who says he can perform surgery that should help to preserve what's left of Liam's sight. But Ontario's out-of-country service won't cover the surgery, saying it can be performed in the province.
Now AGAT Lab Vice President Marcus Maguire says his company will help pay Liam's bills if the family decides they want to go ahead without coverage from the province.
AGAT Lab's Amanda Baxter tells CTVNews.ca that the company is committed to paying all of Reid's medical bills related to the surgery and any future treatment.
If the Reids win their fight with the province and don't need the money, AGAT Labs will instead donate $45,000 to the CNIB, the charity dedicated to those with vision loss.
Liam has a rare genetic disorder called Persistent Fetal Vasculature Syndrome, also known as Norrie's disease, which is robbing him of his sight.
In 2009, the Whitby, Ont. boy had surgery on his right eye at the Hospital for Sick Children, but the procedure was unsuccessful and he is now completely blind in that eye.
Doctors have said they are not able to operate on his left eye. Without further surgery, Liam could be entirely blind by the time he is four, doctors have told his family.
The Reids have already spent $45,000 out of their own pockets for treatments with the Michigan doctor. But they told Canada AM that they can't afford to pay for any further surgeries.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says his province feels an obligation to help Reid.
On Wednesday, McGuinty told reporters that he had met the "remarkable little boy" when the Reids came to Queen's Park to meet with Health Minister Deb Matthews. McGuinty guaranteed that the boy would get the treatment he needs.
"If we can't guarantee to Liam that he's going to get great-quality care here, in the province of Ontario, we've got a responsibility to fund that care elsewhere," McGuinty said.
McGuinty said the health minister is looking into the matter and checking to determine whether that the surgery Liam needs can be provided in Ontario.
"I think we're kind of at a point, right now, determining whether or not we can, in fact, offer that quality care here," McGuinty said.