(May 11, 2015) – Avery Fitzgerald is a pretty typical two-year-old. But his mom noticed something was different about him a couple of months ago.
” I would notice when I was looking at Avery in a light I would see something in the back of his eye…and I thought ‘eh..” Julie Fitzgerald, Avery’s mom, told WREX.
Julie started to wonder what it could be and went online and read an article about a woman who saw a white eye in photos of relatives instead of the normal red eye — and it turned out to be cancer.
Julie told the story to her husband Patrick. He says he told her it was nothing. But Julie couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong.
“I took a picture and I did not want to take a picture and I did not want to take the picture because I had this dreaded feeling in the pit of my stomach and I took the picture and boom. His whole pupil was just white and that’s when I knew.”
Julie took the picture to a specialist three weeks ago. “He took one look and said there are multiple, multiple tumors.”
It was cancer.
75 percent of Avery’s eye was covered in tumors and it had to be removed. Had they waited much longer it could have spread to his brain and blood.
The Fitzgerald family found out Avery had likely been blind in his left eye his whole life, but tumors started growing just six weeks earlier.
Patrick says he has very simple advice for other father’s out there. “Listen to your wife that would be the first thing,” said Patrick. “And don’t wait, don’t wait to see if it improves.”
The Fitzgerald family told WREX that Avery will eventually get a prosthetic eye.
His family also still doesn’t know if he has to go through chemo, but right now they believe all the cancer has been removed.