Baby Fernando Fights Retinoblastoma
Baby Ferdinand was born on October 9, 2009 in Medan, S umatra Island, Indonesia. His parents were ecstatic with their new first born. However within the first month Baby Ferdinand‘s paternal grandmother started to notice something familiar. Her own son had Retinoblastoma and she had noticed something whitish in one of her son’s eyes which led to the diagnosis. Her son then had his left eye enucleated some 30 years ago. Similarly she was holding her grandson one day and noticed the same symptoms that she had seen some 30 years ago. Sure enough Baby Ferdinand was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. In November his left eye was enucleated by a doctor in Kuala Lumpur. A month later in December 2009, Dr Sethi Sundaram from Globe Eye Hospital Bangalore went to Medan for a Rotary Club Meeting. At this meeting Baby Ferdinand’s grandmother, an active Rotary Club Member, took the opportunity to talk with him regarding her grandson. Dr Sethi suggested the family visit Bangalore to see Dr Mahesh Shanmugham, a specialist in Ocular Oncology at Sankara Eye Hospital. As the family was ready to do anything to save Ferdinand’s life they arrived in Bangalore on December 22nd and the first chemotherapy session began on December 23. The family was happy to see his treatment begin so promptly and were also upset to hear that his left eye need not have been enucleated. Prompt treatment with chemotherapy in cases of Retinoblastoma has a very good prognosis in eradicating the cancer and saving the child’s life.
Now baby Ferdinand and his mother Carolina stay in Bangalore and continue Baby Ferdinand’s chemotherapy monthly. The baby has already received two cycles of chemotherapy and the doctors are pleased with the progress.
The side effects of chemotherapy have taken a toll on Baby Ferdinand – loss of appetite, loss of hair, vomiting, diarrhea but as in all cases of Retinoblastoma the most important aspect is to save Baby Ferdinand’s life. His mother Carolina is very thankful for the care at Sankara Eye Hospital and is praying that her baby recover soon. She looks forward to returning to Indonesia in June of 2010 with a healthy handsome baby.