A baby boy’s life was saved after a camera’s flash showed signs of a rare and deadly eye cancer.
Tina Treadwell said her son Taylor was “such a cutie.” So cute, that she decided to approach baby modeling agencies.
When Treadwell’s sister saw the photos, she noticed an unusual glow in the baby’s eyes.
“I saw it before, but assumed it was the camera flash,” Treadwell told Mirror Online.
She took Taylor to the hospital where doctors confirmed that the child had retinoblastoma, an aggressive eye cancer that affects young children and grows quickly. While the cancer is considered to be deadly, the child’s life can be saved if the cancer is detected early — it can also prevent doctors from having to remove the eye.
Taylor had three small tumors in his left eye and a larger one in his right, which left him blind in that eye. He underwent four months of chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to shrink the tumors.
“He lost weight and became lethargic,” Treadwell said. “I hated seeing him so poorly. But the tumor in his right eye had shrunk and the ones in his left eye were dormant.
“It meant the cancer could return, and he’d need regular checks, but he was OK.”
After baby Taylor was released from the hospital, the family was contacted by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. The charity was inspired by the story and wanted Taylor to model in a campaign that demonstrated how the flash from smartphone cameras could detect the rare cancer.
The poster shows a close-up of Taylor’s eye displaying the cancerous “glow” that comes with retinoblastoma.
Treadwell is just thankful they were able to detect the cancer early.
“It’s hard to believe that a photograph saved Taylor’s life,” she said. “Doctors have since said that blood is flowing to Taylor’s retina, so hopefully it might reattach one day.
“If it does, Taylor may get a little of his sight back,” Treadwell added. “But whatever happens he’ll be a star in my eyes.”