Philip Rice was worried about a rash on his 4-year-old son’s face, so he posted a photo on Facebook—and it saved the boy’s life.
Thanks to his dad’s Facebook friend, 4-year-old Ted Rice is getting treatment for leukemia, a diagnosis that would still be a mystery if it wasn’t for a photo. Ted’s dad Philip was extremely concerned about a rash on his son’s face, so he decided to post a picture of it. A physician friend, Dr. Sara Barton saw the photo on the social networking site. Her reaction was immediate: Get him to the hospital right away.
Philip, an anaesthetic assistant, took Ted to Salford Royal Hospital, where he works, and within a few hours later, he and his wife Sara were given the heartbreaking news that the rash was a sign of cancer and that Ted was battling acute lymphocytic leukemia.
“I had that gut feeling when something is wrong,” said Philip. “Looking back, in my heart of hearts, I knew what was going on but I was so frightened I couldn’t admit it to myself.” But despite the gut-wrenching news, Philip and Sara believe that the Facebook exchange has given Ted a fighting chance.
Ted’s parents initally began to worry when they noticed he was often “out of sorts” and tired. He had an “odd looking” bruise and would randomly get minor nosebleeds. But when the rash appeared on November 25 of last year, Phillip became extremely concerned. That’s when he decided to take a mobile picture of it and send it to Dr. Barton.
Ted, who has a 2-year-old sister Pippa, has already gone through three months of chemotherapy and will continue the treatment routine for three years. He has lost all of his hair and needs a wheelchair to get around, but Philip and Sara are confident he will be strong enough to attend pre-school. And just like a devoted father would do, Philip has shaved his head to match Ted’s.