Oregon Mother Spots Daughter’s Eye Cancer After Noticing Odd Glimmer in Photo

April 16, 2019 Updated: April 16, 2019

An Oregon mother may have saved her 2-year-old daughter’s life when she saw a glimmer in her eye when she looked at an old photograph.

“I knew something was wrong with Gracie because her eye would be glowing, and it looked like she had a lazy eye,” Elly Smith, of Oregon, was quoted by Fox News as saying.

The concerned mother then made an appointment for her daughter, who is now 5.

“Her doctor referred us to an eye doctor. I could tell something was wrong there and noticed the doctor’s chest getting red—I was just asking what was wrong,” she told Fox.

In May 2016, doctors spotted several tumors in the girl’s eye, diagnosing her with retinoblastoma.

The American Cancer Society states that the cancer starts in the retina and is quite rare.

“Retinoblastoma is a cancer that starts in the retina, the very back part of the eye,” the organization says on its website. “It is the most common type of eye cancer in children. Rarely, children can have other kinds of eye cancer, such as medulloepithelioma, which is described briefly below, or ocular (eye) melanoma.”

According to her mother, Gracie was seen by eye specialists in Philadelphia, saying that her eye would have to be completely removed and fitted with a prosthetic one.

In June 2016, the girl underwent eye removal surgery and started chemotherapy weeks later. Months later, she got a prosthetic eye.

“Gracie was fine with it,” Fox quoted Smith as saying. She added that Gracie has since made a full recovery.

“She is so resilient. When they make the eye you get to choose something to put on the top so you know which is the top of the eye—Gracie chose a horse,” Smith added.

Unusual Glow

Smith described seeing the unusual glow in her daughter’s eye in a photo.

“I knew something was wrong with Gracie because her eye would be glowing, and it looked like she had a lazy eye,” she said, according to Survivornet.

When she learned it was cancer, “I just started crying,” she said.

“When we left I remember walking to the car crying and shaking, and buckling Gracie in the car seat not knowing what I was going to do. I told Gracie ‘no matter what, you’re going to be okay,'” she was quoted by the website as saying.

The girl also had to wait for some time before her prosthetic eye was given to her.

“It was a hard day for me. Gracie had been wearing an eye patch since the removal and seeing the prosthetic eye just made it all real,” Smith told the website.