One flash photo literally saved a British toddler's life. Jaxson Scrivens, who was 14-months-old at the time this photo was taken, showed clear signs of the childhood cancer Retinoblastoma (RB) in his left eye. Luckily for Jaxson, his parents were able to put him into treatment right away. Now Jaxson is on the steady road towards full recovery.
Jaxson's father, a medical student named Owen Scrivens, was the first to notice something extremely odd in this photo. In the picture, Jaxson's left eye is red, but his right eye has a grey-white sheen in the center.
Owen immediately pulled out some earlier photos of Jaxson to compare with this latest picture. He found that Jaxson's right eye started changing in late November.
Just a few days after that fateful flash photo, Jaxson's parents noticed that their son began to develop a squint. Owen decided to take his son to a GP right away to have this eye checked out.
Jaxson's GP told Owen that he'd never seen this problem before in his 17 years of practice. The GP referred Jaxson to eye experts at the Royal London Hospital where the toddler was diagnosed with RB.
Doctors immediately scheduled a chemotherapy session for Jaxson to decrease the tumor. Thanks to continued chemotherapy treatments, Jaxson's tumor has reduced by two-thirds.
Owen Scrivens says Jaxson is extremely sick after each chemo session. It usually takes Jaxson a few days to get back to his usual "happy self," Owen said.
Anyone interested in helping out Jaxson can take a look at the family's GoFundMe page. People can read all about Jaxson's battle against cancer on this webpage.
Owen hopes that by sharing Jaxson's story parents around the world will be on the lookout for this serious childhood disease. Every parent should have their child's pediatrician take a good look at both eyes during each session.
Also, it's good general knowledge for parents to know how flash photography could reveal this eye cancer. Of course, parents shouldn't get paranoid about checking every single photo, but if they happen to see what Owen saw in Jaxson's eye, they should bring their baby to a GP.
White eye in a toddler isn't just a potential sign of RB. A few other serious diseases that white eye could indicate include Coats' disease and a pediatric cataract.
Anyone with an iPhone can download the app "White Eye Detector" if they are at all concerned over their toddler's eyes. This detector will let parents know whether or not their baby has white eyes by analyzing pictures taken of their child.
RB is an extremely rare eye cancer in children aged five and under. The main symptom of RB is a white sheen around the eye's pupil. A few other symptoms may include a lazy eye, excessive eye redness, or blurred vision. However, a child could have RB without complaining of any eye symptoms.