To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Mum left with PTSD after subtle change in son’s eyes lead to devastating diagnosis

Mum left with PTSD after subtle change in son’s eyes lead to devastating diagnosis

Amy Waddle wants all parents to know the signs after her son, Teddy, had to have his eye removed following a shock diagnosis

Warning: This article contains discussion of cancer which some readers may find distressing.

32-year-old mum Amy Waddle has opened up about her experience after her toddler was diagnosed with eye cancer - which left her with PTSD.

Amy, from Crawley, West Sussex, has shared her devastating story, as well as how she knew something was wrong with her little boy, Teddy.

Initially, Amy, along with Teddy's dad, Brian, thought their son had developed a squint in 2023, and assumed he had a lazy eye.

But a visit to the doctors revealed something much more serious.

That same year, Teddy was given a life-altering diagnosis of retinoblastoma - which is a rare cancerous tumour of the retina.

His parents noticed that his eye-colour was changing from bright blue to very dark blue.

Teddy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (SWNS)
Teddy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (SWNS)

Amy said: "I read his eye colour could change up until they were five. When I took photographs with flash in a dark room, it glowed orange instead of red.

"I had a gut instinct that it was retinoblastoma, it’s the rarest eye cancer and the symptoms can often be missed.”

Teddy was then referred for a hospital appointment in August 2023.

Separate to this, the little boy also has a history with febrile convulsions - which are seizures that affect children with high temperatures.

And doctors getting close to him can cause him to become distressed, so he had to be put to sleep.

Amy recalled: "It was the most horrific experience watching that, the appointments where he needed to be under sleep were awful.

"We would have to take him into the room and put a gas mask on him and a cannula as he wouldn't let anyone touch him. I became anxious because he was unsettled."

Teddy was diagnosed with grade E retinoblastoma on 15 September, and his parents were told that he'd need his right eye removed within two weeks.

Amy said: "He needed an MRI to make sure the tumour hadn’t spread.

Teddy had to have his eye removed (SWNS)
Teddy had to have his eye removed (SWNS)

"I had done a lot of grieving. It was a mother’s instinct and I knew this was the case."

Amy was then informed that her son had also been blind in one eye for the past four months.

"We didn’t know, he was fine naming colours and shapes." she said. "He was so bright we didn’t think anything of it.

"He was so wobbly on his feet tripping over and struggling on the stairs. I thought he was just a clumsy baby - in reality, he was learning with one eye.”

Themum then shared that she began to distance herself from him while they were waiting for results.

She said: "I looked at him and felt sick, like I’d vomit. It broke my heart to be around him.

"I detached myself from him because I feared the worst and my partner and I dreamt about his funeral for weeks."

Teddy's MRI results came through on 22 September and to their delight, they confirmed that his cancer hadn't spread.

Amy, Teddy, Brian and younger brother, Parker (SWNS)
Amy, Teddy, Brian and younger brother, Parker (SWNS)

His genetic blood tests revealed his condition hasn't been passed down from his parents and his brother, Parker, who is six months old, isn't at risk of developing the same condition.

He was booked in for surgery date on 27 September and following treatment, Teddy now has a prosthetic eye.

Every six months he is put to sleep to check his eye socket, and the prosthetic eye has to be taken out often in order to clean it.

Teddy's family have expressed a wish to raise awareness for the condition and have personally thanked ‘The Children’s Eye Trust’ for their emotional and financial support.

Amy said: “Without them, we would be lost they’ve been amazing we’ve been given so many days out and respite breaks and money for travel when my partner didn’t work."

She was also diagnosed with PTSD, adding: "My partner and I are in therapy. He is worse now because he didn’t seek help in the beginning. We both have panic attacks, it’s a battle with our mental health.

"We have good days and bad days. But I’ve heard stories about other children and there is success. I’m lucky the doctors saved his life."

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Cancer, Health, Parenting