If a U.K. father had not noticed a minor blemish on a photograph of his infant son’s face, he might not have detected his son’s cancer in time.
Owen Scrivens, of West Sussex, told InsideEdition.com he was flipping through pictures of 1-year-old Jaxson Scrivens when he noticed a white flicker in his right eye that could have easily been mistaken for glare. The other eye had a red spot, likely caused by the camera’s flash.
“We had seen a slight glint in his eye, like a dog or a cats’ eye in a dark room, but it wasn’t until after I took some innocent photos of him that we noticed the white reflection,” Scrivens said. “We didn’t hesitate to go to the [general practitioner].”
After several doctors’ visits, he and Jaxson’s mom Emily received the devastating news. Their son had a retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye, and had to begin chemotherapy almost right away.
“The news was deafening,” he said. “We were given a choice between chemotherapy or removal of Jaxson’s eye. We had no idea something so serious could be spotted in a harmless flash photo.”
Little Jaxson received his first round of chemotherapy last December, and Scrivens said that although the infant is his normal, outgoing self during treatment, “it’s after that the sickness starts. He loses his appetite as everything tastes metallic. He’s usually sick, weak, and not himself for about two or three days."
Fortunately, the infant has only two more chemotherapy treatments to endure, and the tumor has shrunk considerably since they discovered the fateful blemish in the photograph.
Scrivens said he hopes his son’s story will help other parents know the signs.
“[We want] people to know how easy it is to look, and how serious it can be if ignored," he explained. “There are people who have it a lot worse than Jaxson, and sadly, it’s usually because it’s ignored."