It turns out that smartphones aren’t always a distracting pain in the butt. Sometimes they can assist in saving lives. At least that was the case for Illinois mom Julie Fitzgerald whose 2-year-old son was saved by a pic she snapped of him on her iPhone.
Two months ago, Fitzgerald said that she started noticing something strange in the back of her youngest son Avery’s left eye when he stood in the light. Feeling concerned, she scoured the internet to see what it might be. She stumbled across a story about a woman who discovered that her relative had eye cancer after noticing that they had the appearance of “white eye” in a photograph, instead of the typical “red eye.”
Despite her husband Patrick assuring her that nothing was wrong, a concerned Fitzgerald snapped a pic of Avery on her iPhone and discovered that his left pupil was white too.
A specialist confirmed that Avery had a rare kind of eye cancer called retinoblastoma and had likely always been blind in that eye. His eye was covered with multiple tumors and had to be removed. The doctor told Fitzgerald that it was a blessing that she took the photo when she did because if she had waited much longer, the cancer could have spread to his brain and blood. She saved his life.
Fitzgerald and her husband are happy to report that for now, all of Avery’s cancer looks to be removed and he will eventually be fitted with a prosthetic eye. He has returned to being a happy little boy.
Fitzgerald’s husband Patrick says he learned a valuable lesson during the health scare and now has some simple advice for other fathers. “Listen to your wife, that would be the first thing,” he said. “Trust your gut. And don’t wait to see if it improves.”