A bright future ahead
Posted 6/13/2016 by NEHA SHETH, MD
Pediatrician, Northeast Pediatrics
Clinical Instructor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Neha Sheth, MD
Quick, coordinated pediatric care ensures hope for young eye cancer patient.
Some people say that a mother knows her child better than anyone, picking up on subtle changes that others may not notice. Such was the case for Amy Corbett. She saw a brief glow in the left eye of her then 2-year-old daughter, Myla, that she had not noticed before. Thinking she was seeing things, Amy let it go. But when it happened again, Amy knew she needed to act.
“It looked like a cat’s eye, like it was reflective or glowing,” recalls Amy. “It only happened in certain light, but it was there.”
Turning to trusted care
Amy called Neha Sheth, MD, pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Northeast Pediatrics in Willoughby. Dr. Sheth is the primary care doctor for the Corbetts’ four children. She saw Myla the very next day.
“It is important that any parent who has concerns bring their child in for evaluation. I would rather check and assure them nothing is wrong than for them to worry at home,” explains Dr. Sheth. “Unfortunately, that was not the case with Myla.”
Dr. Sheth performed a red reflex test on Myla, which involves looking through an instrument to observe the healthy, reddish (“red eye”) reflection of light from the retina. The test, which Myla had passed just six months earlier at her two-year well child visit, was now abnormal. Dr. Sheth found that Myla’s left eye looked white and had no red reflection.
Pediatric experts step in
Dr. Sheth immediately referred Myla to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s pediatric ophthalmologist Faruk Örge, MD. Dr. Örge performed a dilated eye exam and diagnosed Myla with retinoblastoma – a rare eye cancer that most often affects young children.
“We learned Myla had already lost all sight in her left eye. The tumor took up three-fourths of her eye and was growing,” says Amy. “But we were fortunate because the cancer had not yet spread to the optic nerve and brain. If it had, the cancer would have been fatal.”
Amy and her husband, Bryan, consulted with Dr. Örge and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s pediatric neuro-oncologist Duncan Stearns, MD, regarding treatment options. The doctors recommended removing Myla’s eye to stop the cancer.
“Our doctors gave us all the information, time and support we needed to decide. It was a very difficult decision, but we knew surgery was the right one,” remembers Amy.
Living a healthy life
Within two weeks of her initial appointment with Dr. Sheth, Myla’s cancerous eye was removed at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. She asked to go to the playground the next day.
“It never fazed her. And, with her prosthetic eye, most people cannot even tell she had surgery,” says Amy.
Today, 4-year-old Myla is a happy, healthy little girl. She loves taking gymnastics, playing at the playground and going to the beach.
“I’m so fortunate to have a pediatrician who really listens to me. Dr. Sheth trusts us as parents, and we trust her as our doctor,” says Amy. “She made the pieces come together so Myla is alive and healthy today.”
Need a pediatrician?
To find a Rainbow pediatrician or request an appointment, call 216-UH4-KIDS (216-844-5437) or visit Rainbow.org/Network.