When Norhan photographed her daughter several months ago with her cellphone camera, she did not even think for a moment that this would be the beginning of a long journey that would begin with the discovery of cancer in her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter’s eye, risk losing the eye In Hadassah Ein Kerem.
“When I looked at the pictures I took on my cell phone, I discovered a white spot in my daughter’s eye, a spot that looked very strange. The other eye, on the other hand, looked as red as we are familiar with in flash photography,” she says. “Very serious and sent us to another doctor and from there we underwent many eye tests until they came to a diagnosis – our mayor has cancer, a tumor in the eye called retinoblastoma.”
The parents, who inquired a lot about how to take care of their daughter, came across one answer in every hospital they came to: “There is nothing to do, the cancer is aggressive and the mayor cannot be helped. The solution is to uproot the eye.”
“We were broken by the hard news that came our way and that there was no solution to the situation, until I watched the news in an article about a child treated at Hadassah with the same case. His mother also recognized the condition in the eye by the white spot she saw in the picture. “To get here, and really after waiting two months for official approvals, we arrived at Hadassah. Since then, I congratulate the staff here every day.”
Prof. Shachar Frenkel, director of the eye surgery service at Hadassah, accepted Mayer for his care. “The family brought her to us when Meyer was 9 months old, after being told by parents at various medical centers that eye extraction is inevitable. In tests we performed here in the array, we noticed a tumor that occupies half the eye volume and is located in the center of vision.
“Mayer’s condition required very prompt treatment in order to have a chance of rescuing the eye,” Prof. Frenkel added. “Cohen and his team in the brain’s catheterization unit at the hospital. This is a fairly innovative procedure called Intra Arterial Chemotherapy, which allows the catheter to reach the tumor directly and focused with the chemotherapy, inject it and leave.”
But that was not the end of the story. “Later, even though the tumor itself had shrunk, we saw another ‘tumor cloud’ around the eye in the area, which was actually a scattered tumor cell. In light of this, together with my colleague Prof. Yaakov Peer, a senior specialist in eye oncology, “In total, Mayer underwent 3 catheterizations for chemotherapy and 4 injections directly into the eye, all of course under anesthesia and for several months,” the expert explained.
“In recent years, we at Hadassah were the first in Israel to use these treatment methods to fight every child’s eyes in retinoblastoma treatment. Direct injection into the eye and another 45 catheterizations to the eye, which have saved the eyes of almost all patients so far. “
Even in Mayer’s case the treatments proved themselves. “When Mayer and her mother came for the examination, we were very happy to tell them that the treatment was successful. The tumor died and calcified, the scattered tumor cells disappeared, and Meyer can see with the naked eye,” said Prof. Frenkel. ” . He added that “beyond that, and no less important, I firmly believe that we, the team here at Hadassah’s eye line – not only save sight and heal difficult and complicated cases, we also serve as a mediator between peoples, and bridge differences or disagreements with our neighbors. “.