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Grandpa Spots Strange Detail In Child's Photo, It May Have Saved Her Life

A doting grandfather looked at pictures of his six-month-old granddaughter, but he noticed immediately in the photos that something might be wrong. He told the girl's parents, and they brought her for a check-up. Sure enough, the grandfather was right. The little girl had a rare form of cancer, and thanks to grandpa's great eye, the child might be spared a tragic fate.

The family was on vacation when 69-year-old Terry Lucking noticed his baby granddaughter's photos showed a strange anomaly. Rose Lucking-Elhitmi, who was then just six months old, had a white reflection in her right eye in the photos.

“We were on holiday in the Lake District and we were using a flash for some reason," recalls Lucking. “When we took the photograph, I noticed that instead of having a red eye, which you would expect, she had one red eye and one white eye.”

This is quite unusual. Usually, with photos, a person's eyes will get the notorious 'red eye' from flash photography, or they'll look perfectly normal. Never had the granddad heard of a white reflection.

Lucking brought up the situation with Rose's parents, and they took her to a doctor. She was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer that usually affects children under five.

“My husband had been taking some pictures and we kept seeing this white reflective object in Rose's right eye," said Suzannah, Rose's mother. “It was in every picture. We made an appointment to see the doctor as soon as we got home and were then referred to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. After that came the diagnosis which is when everything became a bit of a blur. Hearing that your six-month old child has cancer just turns your life upside down.”

Rose had tumors in both of her eyes, but thankfully due to her grandfather's attention to detail, she was diagnosed early. The baby spent a lot of time in her hospital while she was being treated, because treatments lower the immune system and leave children open to infection. But doctors were able to treat the tumors before the cancer spread.

“When she hasn't been in hospital she's often been poorly at home and unable to do the kind of things that other children do," said Suzannah. "We've tried to keep life as normal as possible for her but she was so susceptible to infections that we had to limit her activities. But her resilience never ceases to amaze us."

Rose, now two years old, is doing well and it looks like because of early detection, doctors were not only able to save her life, but her eyes.

More and more cases of retinoblastoma are being diagnosed by people from looking at baby pictures. Now that parents can take as many pictures as they want with digital cameras and share them with many people on the internet, the unique white-eye reflection gets noticed before it's too late.

Source: The Sun, BBC
Photo: SWNS

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