Presley Marshall

A holiday photograph as helped saved the sight of a baby girl

And it was the hotel photographer who spotted that baby had a white looking eye in one of the pictures and suspected she had retinoblastoma.

Parents Sophie Findlay and Darren Marshall were in Tenerife with Presley and son Parker, three, in January 2017 when the worrying photo was taken.

The family flew back to their home in Jarrow, South Tyneside, the next day and took Presley straight to Sunderland Eye Infirmary, where their fears were confirmed.

Following the diagnosis, Presley, who has been treated at both Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and Birmingham Children Hospital, underwent chemotherapy and laser surgery sessions.

Presley Marshall with Alessia in Tenerife

Presley Marshall with Alessia in Tenerife this month

If it hadn’t have been picked up, she may have lost her eye

Sophie Findlay – Presley’s mother

At one point she lost the sight in her right eye but it has since returned.

Sophie and Darren returned to Tenerife earlier this month to thank the photographer. But they know her only as Alessia and it was only by chance that they spotted her working at another hotel to the one they stayed in and were able to thank her.

Sophie, 33, said : “We owe this lady everything. “Presley had not shown any signs of being unwell and she wouldn’t have had her eyes tested until she was four.

“If it hadn’t have been picked up, she may have lost her eye. “This lady has saved her eye and saved her sight.” Explaining how the was spotted she said: “Darren had been working away over Christmas which is why we had decided to book a last minute holiday in January.

“When we were at the hotel we had asked the photographer to get some pictures of the kids. “It was on the second last day when we went to collect the photos and she pulled us aside. “She told me to have a look at her eye. I just thought it was something like camera red eye and asked if she could just do something to make it right.

“But she told us that it should never be white and to take her to the doctor and get her checked out.” Once warned, the couple went onto the internet and checked photos of their daughter they had taken previously which also showed she had a white eye.

Sophie added: “As soon as we got off the plane we took her to the hospital and we were told it was really serious. There was a white ball in her right eye. It was terrible being told she had it.

Presley Marshall with her mother Sophie Findlay

Presley Marshall ow aged two, at home with with her mother Sophie Findlay

Presley Marshall

The holiday photo that revealed her right eye problem

“Then we had to wait to find out how serious it was. But we caught it really early.”

Presley, who has just turned two, is currently responding to treatment. While she will continue to have checkups, her visits to Birmingham Children Hospital have been reduced to once every six weeks instead of once every four. Retinoblastoma causes the affected eye to have an unusual white reflection in the pupil which can be picked up in photos.

A healthy eye reflects red to a flash. Spotted early, it can be treated successfully but if it spreads then frequently the eye affected has to be removed.

The cancer of the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye, affects only around 50 to 60 children a year in the UK.

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