A MUM who captured her son's eye cancer on a picture has said it is all down to a new camera phone.


Elizabeth Hale, 32, of Saville Park, Halifax, had just changed her old phone for one with a better camera.

The sales analyst, who is currently on maternity leave, said: "A girlfriend of mine already had the phone and I was amazed at how good the quality of the photographs were.

"I don't really bother with a normal camera and always used my camera on my phone because it's easier, but one on my old phone wasn't particularly great so I upgraded as soon as I could.

"Because my old phone didn't have a flash it never picked up on the cancer.

"I'm just so thankful I bought the new one or we might not have caught it in time."

Mrs Hale was taking snaps of eight-month-old son Thomas, when she noticed the flash reflecting in his eyes looked strange.

She looked on the internet for an explanation.



"When I typed what I was seeing into Google it was taking me to cancer websites so I was really getting nervous," she said.


She asked her sister Fiona Davies for a second opinion. The 40-year-old paediatric oncology nurse at Sheffield Children's Hospital, recommended she take Thomas for a check-up with the family GP.

They caught the cancer in the nick of time.

Thomas is now receiving regular chemotherapy and laser treatment to save his remaining vision.

Sadly he lost the central vision in his left eye where a single tumour on that side creates a blind-spot. He will never regain that, but fortunately he still has peripheral vision around the edges of his left eye and his right eye's field-of-view is totally unaffected. The three tumours on that side are not blocking his view of the world.

Mrs Hale said: "I have been told if we had noticed this even two months later then my baby would have lost his central vision in his right eye as well."

That would have been a very different outcome.

"The real worry is that if we hadn't seen this on the camera phone, it would have been a long time before we knew anything was wrong.

"With it being such a rare form of cancer they are not the kind of symptoms you are on the lookout for. Also, because Thomas is so young and won't be talking for a while, it would have been ages before he could have explained if there was a problem. By then it could have been too late.