ATLANTA (CBS46) — A mother’s incredible attention to detail helps save her baby’s life.
Josie Rock took a photo of her son, Asher, when he was about four months old. With the cell phone flash on, Rock noticed something was wrong.
“I kind of did a double take. I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, something isn’t right.’ I have that gut feeling in my stomach.’”
Asher’s right eye looked different. Eyes usually reflect a red light in photos, but there was a white glow; it could mean that there is a cancerous tumor that is causing his retina not to have the correct reflex to light.
“I just knew then that my son had retinoblastoma,” Rock said.
Retinoblastoma is the most common cancer in children. At the time, Rock happened to be in nursing school. She successfully identified her son’s cancer, even when doctors overlooked the signs at the time.
“Sometimes these things can be subtle,” says Dr. Thomas Olson, a pediatric oncologist and hematologist at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
After the diagnosis, Olson spent years working on Asher’s case.
“He had initial chemotherapy and laser. And when it didn’t respond and kept coming back, he got the intro-ophthalmic artery treatment,” Olson said.
Although Asher is blind in that eye, his mother’s photography skills and quick thinking kept the cancer from spreading
He can now enjoy life as a little boy, who loves Lego, plays baseball and works on his karate.
Rock advocates that parents talk to their pediatrician to make sure their child does not have retinoblastoma.
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