She takes a simple picture of her child - and saves his life.
When Emily Smith from Sussex took a picture of her little boy, she had no idea that it would save her child’s life. As she looked at the picture a little closer, she noticed a strange mutation in the light of the camera. “The flash had turned on automatically because Jaxson was in the dark”, the 23-year-old explained. “When I looked at the photo, I found a strange haze behind one of his pupils.”
Emily started doing research: “I googled, checked the photo again and found the white reflex.” She immediately took her little one to the doctor who referred them to an eye-specialist. After thorough scrutiny, she received a devastating explanation as the specialist diagnosed retinoblastoma, a malicious cancer behind the retina of the eye. It’s a rare form of eye cancer.
Jaxson had to be operated on immediately. They used a special magnifying technique to scrutinise the boy’s eye cancer. Based on those results, they could determine whether the cancer has already grown in other parts of the body. The parents were given the awful news that the tumour was growing. Emily remembers: “It was such a hard time.”
The boy had to undergo chemotherapy six times. Then, his tumour stabilised. Six months afterwards, another shock: a relapse.
“Our heart was broken when we heard that it [the tumour] had begun to grow again even though Jaxson had taken the therapy so well." Brave Jaxson received intra-arterial chemotherapy every other week and laser treatment afterwards.
After years of fighting, the parents finally received the good news that the tumour had been defeated and that Jaxson was stable again. Since then, he has been happy and healthy. Relieved mum Emily said: “We couldn’t be more proud of our wonderful little boy.”
Take a look at the video above for a closer look at the photo that may well have saved Jaxson's life.