Routine Eye Exam Detects Brain Tumor In 8 year Old

When you’re a parent, your kids are your priority and the only thing you want for them is to be happy and healthy. That’s the case for Maria Garcia whose only daughter, Ruby Mosqueda would wake up screaming in the middle of the night from what she thought were migraines. After several visits to various doctors and multiple medications, the migraines continued and Garcia felt helpless because doctors couldn’t figure out what was causing Ruby to be in so much pain. That was until she visited her optometrist for a routine eye exam, who found that Ruby had a brain tumor.

That day, Garcia took her daughter to see her optometrist, Dr. Kristin Bender, O.D. for her yearly check-up and after asking how Ruby was, the doctor decided to dilate her eyes to see how her vision was. Ruby has been seeing Dr. Bender for the past 3 years and during her visit her mom explained what her daughter was going through. “I told her that after talking to all the doctors, they didn’t pay too much attention or concern to what was going on,” she says. “I felt like everyone just wrote it off like it wasn’t a big deal, even though my daughter was 7 and it wasn’t normal for her to have headaches everyday.”

“Dr. Bender dilated her eyes and then showed me on the screen and her left eye was good, but when she showed me her right eye, it was completely white and cloudy,” explains Garcia. The doctor explained that there was swelling, which could be caused by excessive spinal fluid in the brain.

“I started crying and I asked if this was why she was having headaches and Dr. Bender said that more than likely, yes.” The optometrist called a neuro optometrist and referred Ruby’s case to him. She also instructed her mother to take Ruby to the emergency room, where she received a CT scan and the doctors unfortunately found a mass.

©2016 Cox Media Group

©2016 Cox Media Group

Dr. Bender showed up at the emergency room because she was concerned about her patient. “Upon hearing that she had a mass I couldn’t talk anymore and luckily she was there to fill in and tell others what was going on because it was the worst day of my life,” says Garcia.

“They told me that Ruby had a brain tumor near the pituitary area of the brain and they were not sure if they would be able to take it out completely because of the area that it was attached to,” explains Garcia. The doctors did a procedure to release the fluid that was causing the headache, and the following week they removed part of the tumor.

Currently, Ruby is undergoing a 9-month radiation treatment. “Since then, the mass has shrunk, so we’re really grateful that the radiation is working,” she says. In January they will do a reevaluation to see how the treatment is working and to see if they will give her more medication or if she will need another surgery.