Written by Samantha Lade, DonateToday
Published: Thursday, 1st March 2018

When these parents noticed a symptom of a rare eye cancer in their two-year-old son, they fought for months until a diagnosis was eventually confirmed

When these parents noticed a symptom of a rare eye cancer in their two-year-old son, they fought for months until a diagnosis was eventually confirmed

When his parents noticed a white blur across Logan’s pupil, they learned through the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust that it could be a symptom of a rare eye cancer. Mum Hayley then spent months trying to get a definite diagnosis from professionals, before it was finally confirmed – Logan indeed had retinoblastoma.

Cause for Concern

Logan Brown had not long turned two-years-old when his father first noticed that something wasn’t quite right with his eye. 

‘We first saw a strange white blur across Logan’s pupil when he was playing, and again when we were putting Logan to bed,’ explains mum Hayley, from Wisbech St Mary, Cambridgeshire.

Questioning what she’d seen, Hayley naturally went online to Google her son’s symptom. 

Searching for “white blur in child’s pupil”, she came across information on the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust website about retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer. 

‘We read that retinoblastoma was very rare but we could see that it was important to get Logan’s eye checked out straight away,’ recalls Hayley.

A Search for Answers

The next morning, Hayley tried to get an appointment at a local opticians. But, despite explaining why she needed her son to be tested, she was told he was too young to see.

Hayley then turned to her GP. 

After showing several photographs of Logan that she had taken with flash and which showed a white glow in his left eye, and explaining that she’d read up on retinoblastoma, the GP examined Logan with a red reflex test.

The GP made an urgent referral to the local hospital eye department – but to Hayley’s surprise, the ‘urgent’ appointment was not for another two months.

Pictured: Two-year-old Logan Brown

After calling the hospital and asking for an earlier appointment which was not possible, Hayley returned to see a second GP, who told her not to worry and to wait for the appointment.

‘It was really hard,’ says Hayley. ‘We know now retinoblastoma is really rare and not every health professional will have seen it, but we were so worried.

‘We could see the white glow more clearly each day and it was horrible thinking that something was wrong but not knowing for sure.’

One in ten babies and children diagnosed with retinoblastoma have to wait more than six months to be diagnosed.

- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, 2018

Diagnosis at Last

Logan’s eventual appointment two months later brought with it, yet again, more questions than answers. The ophthalmologist was unable to say what was wrong, and referred the toddler to a more senior doctor at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. 

Two visits and three weeks later Logan was examined under general anaesthetic, before being referred on yet again to The Royal London Hospital – a specialist centre for retinoblastoma – the very next day.

Here, answers were finally found – the young boy indeed had unilateral retinoblastoma. The following week, Logan had his left eye removed through successful surgery. 

Thankfully, Logan required no further treatment after his operation. 

The cheeky toddler, who turns three in May, loves to play and make friends, says his mum.

She finishes: ‘Throughout all of this, Logan has carries on being his cheeky, mischievous, little self and taken it all in his stride. We are so proud of our little boy.’

Childhood Eye Cancer Treatment are urging parents and healthcare professionals to be aware of the symptoms of retinoblastoma. The charity’s latest research has uncovered 1 in 10 babies and children in the UK with retinoblastoma have to wait more than six months to be diagnosed. To find out more information please click here.