Paralympic swimmer’s parents search for answers after she mysteriously loses eyesight

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Paralympic hopeful Olivia Chambers’ parents have dedicated their time to figuring out the medical mystery that has rocked their family.

They carry the weight of the unknown while Olivia follows her dreams.

“There’s somebody out there somewhere that is smart enough to find the answer. I just have to find them, Olivia’s mom, Alison Chambers, said.

Olivia Chambers is excelling as a collegiate swimmer at Northern Iowa, and a paralympic swimmer for Team USA. Meanwhile, her parents are searching for answers.

“I’m not going to get a good night’s sleep until I know what’s wrong with my daughter,” Alison said.

The Chambers’ world was turned upside down when Olivia was 16 years old.

“August 25th, 2019, and I was sitting in my office and she said ‘My eyes are a little blurry’ and I said, ‘Okay, well, you know, well, we’ll talk about that.’ And then I looked up. She said, ‘okay, well, I’m going to go to school.’ And she was driving at the time and I said, I looked up and she had her phone right here,” Alison said.

Para swimmer Olivia Chambers is living her dream

Alison said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait.”

“Two weeks later she called and our youngest called and she said, Olivia’s eyes have crossed and they won’t uncross and she’s running into the walls,” Alison said.

They took Olivia to the ER, kicking off the long journey of unanswered questions and frustrating doctor appointments.

While Olivia focuses on swimming as best she can. It’s her parents who have taken this medical mystery head-on.

“I think of Olivia’s brain. If you opened her head up, it’s like a Barbie doll house and everything’s got a box. And she has a box that’s called medical. And there’s a big label slapped over it that says ‘mom’,” Alison said

Olivia’s dad Brad says she’s done an immense amount of research on it and time spent.

Olivia recently started seeing a new set of doctors in Philadelphia, hoping they can find some answers.

Northern Iowa para swimmer Olivia Chambers strives for Paris 2024

“There’s a grieving process with every stage that we go through and we don’t know when it’s going to end,” Alison said. “I have regrets of things I wish we’d done and things that I wish we had taken her see while she could see them.”

They fight on through every curve on the road ahead and when they need strength, they know who to look to.

“She has overcome such obstacles that most people couldn’t even fathom to do so. She’s pretty amazing,” Alison said.

Alison and Brad hope as Olivia’s story continues to get shared, someone out there will see it and be able to help.

They continue to fight for answers while Olivia keeps swimming.

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