A cell phone picture turned out to be a life-saver for two-year old Avery Fitzgerald after his mother noticed an oddity with his eye.
Although Avery seemed like your typical toddler, his mother, Julie Fitzgerald, felt unsettled about something. There was a strange twinkle in the back of his eye whenever he was in the light.
“Probably a couple months I would notice when I was looking at Avery in a light I would see something in the back of his eye,” she said.
So, after pondering on it, Julie ended up searching the web for answers. She eventually came across an article about a woman who found out that her relative had cancer after noticing a white eye instead of the usual red eye in some family photos.
Unable to shake the unease, Julie eventually mustered up the courage to take a picture of her son.
“I took a picture and I did not want to take the picture because I had this dreaded feeling in the pit of my stomach and I took the picture and boom. His whole pupil was just white and that’s when I knew,” she told WREX.
A doctor’s visit later confirmed that Avery had retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that is usually found in children.
“He took one look and said there are multiple, multiple tumors,” Julie said of her visit to the specialist.
In fact, 75 percent of Avery’s eye turned out to be covered in tumors. The family was also told that, had the detection not been made, it could have spread to his brain and blood.
It seems that Avery — who will eventually get a prosthetic eye — had likely been blind in his left eye his entire young life, but it wasn’t until six weeks earlier that the tumors began to grow.
The family believes that all the cancer has been removed, and is currently uncertain whether or not Avery might need chemotherapy later on. They are now awaiting the results of genetic marker tests that were done to determine if he is also at risk for other types of cancers.
Avery’s dad, who had initially dismissed Julie’s concerns, shared some fatherly advice.
“Listen to your wife, that would be the first thing. Trust your gut,” said Patrick Fitzgerald.
“Trust a momma’s gut,” Julie added.
[Image via WREX]