Lisakhanya Mngadi of Inanda, lost her left eye to stage 4 retinoblastoma. Her mother, Nonkululeko Mngadi, said she wanted to tell other parents about the disease so their children could avoid the same fate. If cancer of the retina is detected early enough, it can be treated.
Mngadi said she noticed something unusual the first time Lisa opened her eyes. “There was something light and shiny in her eye. When I took pictures of her, something reflected brighter on the flash, like a red eye. It didn’t bother me at the time because she was happy, breast-feeding and playful.”
When Lisa was about a year old, Mngadi realised her pupil was fading and the whole eye becoming white. She did not show signs of pain until May 27. “I came back from work that evening and she was crying non-stop. I thought she hurt herself during the day when I was at work,” she said.
Mngadi said she took Lisa to a paediatrician the next day, but with no temperature and nothing else wrong, cold and flu medication, antibiotics and eye drops were prescribed.
Lisa grew worse and was admitted to hospital because she could not open her eyes and was getting weaker. “Her whole eye was completely white, then I knew something was seriously wrong.”