Operation to remove Ruby's eye goes well
Two-year-old Ruby Baird is a tough wee cookie.
The Invercargill toddler has just returned to the city after a stint in Christchurch Hospital's children's haematology oncology centre, where she had an operation to remove her right eye after she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer of the retina.
Yesterday her parents Tina and Hamish Baird said Ruby had been astonishingly resilient throughout the ordeal.
"She did well. She just took it all in her stride. She's kind of a bolshie, give-anything-a-go, third child, strong personality type of kid ... we don't think it's going to hold her back at all," Mrs Baird said.
"She's adapted faster than Mum and Dad," Mr Baird said.
"She just has no qualms about anything."
The only differences they had noticed was that Ruby now took the stairs a little bit differently, and napped during the day, as having one eye "tuckers you out a bit".
"But she's resilient. Her humour and personality, she's going to be the kid who pops her eye in [three-year-old-brother Harrison's] mashed potatoes ... she'll just be awesome," he said.
The couple, who are also parents to six-year-old Alycia, took Ruby to the doctor after noticing her eye change colour, Mrs Baird said.
She was then taken to an optometrist, before being referred to an eye specialist.
The couple and their little girl were then flown to Christchurch, and just a week after her diagnosis Ruby went into surgery to remove her eye, Mrs Baird said.
Mr Baird urged other parents to act immediately if they noticed anything unusual with their children's health.
"The way the tumour was growing, if we'd waited a week, we wouldn't be sitting here today. We'd still be in Christchurch, because the cancer would have spread through the rest of her head," he said.
Fortunately, the family was given the news the tumour had not spread on Friday. Ruby will be fitted with a prosthetic eye next month.
In the meantime, they wanted to say a heartfelt thanks for all of the support they had received - from family, friends, and strangers alike, Mr Baird said.
Among their supporters was the Middle School community.
The school's assistant principal, Louise Dickson, said the school was holding a silent auction and a quiz night fundraiser for little Ruby.
Prizes up for grabs include train and helicopter rides, accommodation, bar tabs, travel vouchers and signed Crusaders, Warriors and David Tua memorabilia, she said.
The quiz night would be held on September 13 at 7pm at the Glengarry Tavern, and would cost $20 for a team of four, while the silent auction was being held at the school, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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