The flash of a camera saved the life of 4-month-old baby Ryder Temarantz.
Like all new mums, Andrea Temarantz took hundreds of photos of her adorable baby boy, Ryder. Though her little boy, who has Down Syndrome always looked beautiful in his pictures, Andrea couldn’t help but notice a strange white glow in his left eye whenever a flash was used.
She had seen an article 2 years ago about a similar incident, in which the toddler had a similar glow to his eye and it was found out to be cancer. She brought up this issue to the doctor during Ryder’s next check up, and he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in his left eye.
The diagnose devastated Andrea and her husband, Joey, because Ryder has Down Syndrome and he has an elevated chance of developing leukaemia – which means aggressive chemotherapy comes with added risks.
Early detection is important
Retinoblastoma is a type of cancer that can spread quickly to other parts of the body. 50% of the children diagnosed with the condition usually do not make it.
After seeing a round of specialists, Andrea and Joey were given good news. Ryder was eligible for chemotherapy directed to his eye, and because of the early detection, Ryder has a 99% chance of recovery.
Ryder began his treatment last week, and things have been going great. He is left with another 5 rounds of chemotherapy and doctors believe that he will retain some sight in his left eye. Andrea had told ABC News that despite everything, Ryder is still “active and alert like nothing ever happened to him”.
What is retinoblastoma?
According to Eye Cancer MD, there are two types of retinoblastoma. Familial retinoblastoma is hereditary, is passed from parent to child, and is bilateral (affects both eyes). The second type of retinoblastoma, responsible for 70% of all new cases, is unilateral (only one eye is affected).
Signs and symptoms
The first sign of retinoblastoma that is usually noticed is leukocoria, a whitening of the pupil. The whiteness can be seen under certain lighting conditions. In Ryder’s case, the leukocoria was noticed when his photograph was taken with a camera flash. Instead of a normal red eye that you’d see in a picture, you may notice a white pupil instead – which comes from the white surface of the tumour itself.
READ: Can camera flashes cause blindness in babies?
Image source: Andrea Temarantz
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