Little Avery Fitzgerad of Rockford, Illnois is a two year-old boy like any other. He loves to jump about and won’t sit still. And like any other mom, Julie Fitzgerald likes to take the odd snap of her little son. After all, they grow up so quickly, don’t they? But one recent photograph might just have saved Avery’s life…
Julie and her husband Patrick began to notice that whenever they looked at their son’s eye under direct light, they could see something strange at the back of it. They didn’t know what it was, so did what we’d all do nowadays and did a quick internet search. What they found worried Mom deeply. Stories of people with the same thing. People who, when photographed, would have strange white glimmers in their eyes, instead of ‘red eye’. People who had cancer of the eye.
Patrick tried to assure Julie that it was probably nothing, but Avery’s mom wouldn’t let it lie…
“I did not want to take the picture because I had this dreaded feeling in the pit of my stomach,” she told CNN. “I took the picture, and boom: His whole pupil was just white— and that’s when I knew.”
Julie took Avery and the picture to a specialist. It was bad news. 75% of his left eye was covered in tumors. He was likely blind in the eye too. It was officially diagnosed as ‘retinoblastoma’. It’s a rare cancer than only occurs in very young children, and only affects around 300 children a year in the US.
Sadly, the brave little man had to have his eye removed, but the cancer has gone and he now has a very realistic prosthetic replacement.
Avery’s dad Patrick has these wise words to say to any concerned fathers out there: “Trust your gut. Trust a momma’s gut … and don’t wait. Don’t wait to see if it improves.”
H/T: Fox News