Mom Notices White Spot in Son's Eye in a Photo, Takes Him to the Doctor Just in Time

Lois Oladejo
May 09, 2022
09:10 A.M.

A Georgia mom's meticulousness and quick-thinking instincts saved the day after discovering unusual lighting in her son's eye. The mom had been taking photos of her little one, and she wasted no time alerting medical experts.


One could never go wrong with paying attention to details, and Georgia mom, Josie Brewer Rock, knows its essence. Back in 2014, Josie had quite the experience when her attention to detail unfolded what could have ended in a disaster.

It all started when she took photos of her toddler son, Asher, and noticed an anomaly. Josie swung into action just in time for the situation to be contained. Here's the story of what was discovered.



Josie Brewer Rock, a mom from Gainesville, Georgia, was taking photos of her young son, Asher, in her home when the flash unexpectedly went off and cast a glow in Asher's widened eyes. Josie told Fox News:

"I was just taking pictures of him and the lighting happened to change in our room, the flash caught the reflection and his eye was glowing white."

The baby's expression showed he had been unprepared for the flash, but what his mom found next led to her own unpreparedness. As Josie browsed through the photos on her phone, she noticed the one picture where the flash went off.


She also saw an unusual light in Asher's eye. Where the flash should have cast a red glow, there was a white light in one of his eyes. So it was that one of the baby's eyes bore a red glow while the other had an unusual white light.


Josie knew there was something wrong, and because she had prior knowledge of retinoblastoma, a form of cancer that affects the retina, she was even more unsettled.

She took more professional photos of her toddler son and saw the same white light in the same eye. Josie showed the pictures to her fellow nurse practitioners, but they brushed it off, thinking it was a mere lighting case.


However, Josie remained apprehensive with the nagging feeling that something more profound than lighting affected her son's eye. It was at this point that she visited a pediatrician.

After checking the photos, the doctor examined and discovered that Josie was right to be worried. The mom recalled the moment the pediatrician realized what was wrong:

"I remember the color drained from her [the doctor's] face after she did the proper examination. She turned the lights off and looked at his eyes and said, 'Something's not right.'"



Josie knew retinoblastoma was a tumor that started from the back of the eye and suspected it was what her son had at first. With further examinations done by the doctor, her fears were confirmed.

Asher was diagnosed with grade D retinoblastoma. According to the American Cancer Society, this cancer type consists of large or poorly defined tumors with widespread vitreous or subretinal seeding.

Experts have also shared that there are two types of retinoblastoma and they are either heritable or non-heritable. The heritable one is the easiest to discover because babies are often examined at birth due to the history of their parents.


Following Asher's diagnosis, the ophthalmologist applied laser treatment, and he also received chemotherapy intravenously. Asher completed chemotherapy in 2015. His mom mentioned how brave he was:

"I have never known a stronger kid. He's so positive – he's not a complainer – he finds the joy in everything we do."


Even after remission, retinoblastoma tends to pop up in other places, which was the situation in Asher's case. Since the first discovery, the young boy has undergone over 50 exams, which is in a continuum.

After Josie shared her son's story on social media, it went viral and was reposted by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Since then, Josie and her family have had interviews hoping to spread awareness among millions of parents.

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