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Nurse spots eye cancer from Facebook picture, saving toddler's life

by Staff Reporter
11 January 2013 | 6323 Views
A nurse saved a toddler from cancer after looking at her Facebook picture.

Nicola Sharp was browsing through friend Michele Freeman's profile when she saw a flash photo of Michele's daughter Grace.

It showed the two-year-old with a white pupil in her left eye instead of the usual "red eye" effect.

Nicola, 42, who has 20 years' experience in child nursing, knew at once that this could indicate an eye tumour.

She immediately contacted Michele and Grace was diagnosed with retinoblastoma.

The two tumours meant the tot lost all sight in her left eye. But doctors told Michele that left untreated it could have been fatal.

The 37-year-old mum said: "There is no doubt in my mind that Nicola saved Grace's life.

"There were no signs she had any problems and we never would have known without her looking at the picture.

"There is very little awareness of this condition and only around 50 people in the UK are diagnosed with it each year.

"Without Nicola it would not have shown up until Grace had a school eye test and things would have been much worse."

Nicola, who lives in Middleton, Manchester, is the team leader for the local school nursing services.

She said: "I was just looking at the photos when I noticed something odd.

"Normally you get a red eye tint in photos but where the eye comes out white it can mean something is wrong. We were praying that it was nothing serious but unfortunately it was."

Grace now has to travel to Birmingham every four weeks for laser treatment and doctors will have to monitor the condition for the rest of her life.




Retinoblastoma affects only young children and the most common symptom is that the pupil tends to reflect light as white.

Michele, from Heywood, Manchester, added: "I really want to give a massive thank you to Nicola and to all my family and friends who have been so supportive over the past four weeks.

Nicola Sharp cancer from Facebook

Source: Mirror

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