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Nurse spots cancer on Facebook picture

  • 11 Comments

A school nurse has saved a toddler from cancer after looking at her picture on Facebook.

Nicola Sharp, team leader for the school nursing services at NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, was browsing through friend Michele Freeman’s profile when she saw a flash photo of Michele’s daughter Grace.

It showed the two-year-old with a white pupil in her left eye instead of the usual “red eye” effect.

Ms Sharp knew this could indicate an eye tumour and, as a result, the child was diagnosed and treated for retinoblastoma.

Although Grace has lost the sight in the eye, doctors say Ms Sharp’s knowledge and action saved the child’s life.

  • 11 Comments

Readers' comments (11)

  • Fantastic. Well done Nicola. The outcome could have been so different. You are a credit to nursing.

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  • I agree totally ... but I hope Nursing Times got consent to reproducing the photo of the child ... ?

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  • So given all the recent debate about nurses in the news - has Nursing Times given this story to national press - or how does that work

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  • Wow!! Fantastic stuff! Should be front pages news and also on TV and radio as well!!

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  • I agree with all the views above. This is such a simple way of saving someones life - and not just nurses. If this was freely circulated by the media more lives could be saved. Good for you Nicola and good luck Michele and little Grace.

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  • well done Nicola,
    I am very impressed with how you saved a childs life. However I feel very sorry for the child for losing her eyesight but things could have been a lot worst.

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  • So Facebook and nursing CAN go together!! I once noticed something amiss with a photo - it was detached retina early onset. Was that a nursing observation or just coincidence? I like to think it was the former. I believe we have all as nurses probably saved a life at some point, even if not in a Casualty or Holby City type of way! One of my patient's homes smelled strange and I suspected a gas leak but neither the patient or their friend could smell anything. I reported it and there was indeed a gas leak from a faulty appliance.

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  • I am sure Nicola did this out of genuine concern for the child and not to have her name branded all over the media to promote the image of nurses. those who made comments to this effect above please get your priorities right.
    Incidentally, I noticed a tv news presenter also had white pupils whilst reading the news and wondered whether this has more to do with the studio lighting?

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  • How lovely to have helped such a young and vunerable child outside your own practice environment. WELL DONE Nicola you changed the course of this little girls life for the better x

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  • Anonymous 2.39pm. I don't think any one doubts that this was done out of concern for the child, and not for a media event, however the comments about the media were in relation to a number of recent articles about nurses value not being recognised by the public.

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