A mum was left devastated as her two-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after his eye changed colour.
Two-year-old Kenny Chapman has retinoblastoma, which affects babies and young children.
Mum Katy Mosley became concerned after spotting that his right pupil appeared to be a white colour, Teesside Live reports.
The 27-year-old took Kenny to a local optician and her GP, who sent him to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.
The toddler, from Guisborough, was referred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he underwent an ultrasound on his dilated pupils.
Katy was then given the heart-breaking news that he had a tumour which was almost a grade E – the most serious type.
The mum-of-two has described the moment she found out her son had cancer as “horrendous”.
Katy, who is also mum to Milly Wise, seven, said: “The doctor who had been the one doing the procedure sat down. I could tell by his face something was wrong.
“I remember him saying to us, ‘right firstly, what do you know about retinoblastoma?’ All I remember replying was: ‘It’s that isn’t it?’ and I broke down. He said yes.
“It was absolutely heart-breaking. You hear these stories but you don’t think you’re ever going to live it yourself.
“Kenny has been absolutely fine in himself which is why it was so hard to believe it.
“They showed us the pictures of inside Kenny’s poorly eye. You could see the tumour and loads of little white circles that float around in his eye.
“They also told us his retina has fully detached itself inside his poorly eye.”
Retinoblastoma is cancer of the retina – the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.
According to the NHS, around 45 children are diagnosed with the condition in the UK each year.
Katy said that she became aware of the white in his pupil while they were at a friend’s home in August this year.
She said she noticed something unusual about Kenny’s eye when a lamp was put on and the lights were dim.
Katy said: “I wasn’t sure what was odd about it but it didn’t look right.
“Then I started to notice in certain lights, mainly dim lights, I could see inside his pupil – it looked white.”
Katy said that after failing to get an appointment at Specsavers due to Kenny being so young, she contacted her local GP and was referred to the hospital in Middlesbrough.
During the two weeks she was waiting for an appointment, she managed to get Kenny an appointment at a local opticians S H Reily, where Christian Reily examined his eye.
Katy said: “He had a little look and told me that there was something at the back of his eye but he couldn’t tell me exactly what as Kenny wouldn’t let him look properly.
“I then went on to mention how I had done some Googling and seen about the retinoblastoma – he said that if I hadn’t already had a referral from the doctors he would be doing it as soon as possible.”
Katy said that when they did not receive an appointment within the two weeks, the optician wrote a letter to the hospital and she got an appointment the following morning.
She said she is grateful to him for offering her and Kenny his support and his kindness during the difficult time.
During the hospital appointment, Katy was told that pictures of Kenny’s eye would be sent to a doctor.
A striking picture of Kenny’s eye was sent to medics and she received a call from Birmingham Children’s Hospital, who said they believed he could have retinoblastoma.
On October 15, Katy and Kenny’s dad Brad Chapman, 26, travelled to Birmingham for an appointment at the hospital and they were given the news they had been dreading.
They were told that Kenny had a grade D tumour which was going on to a grade E and a plan would be put in place for him to have six rounds of chemotherapy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.
She was told Kenny would need chemotherapy injected into his eye and, although the chances of saving an eye are good, his level of sight will depend on how the treatment goes.
Kenny underwent his first round of chemotherapy, which last five hours, on October 30 and is due his next one on November 24.
Katy is keeping an online diary of Kenny’s treatment and is urging others to be aware of the glow which can appear in a child’s eye.
She said Morrisons has donated a hamper to Kenny and a Just Giving page has been set up for the family.