Optician saves teenager's life after spotting brain tumour warning signs
A teenager owes her life to an optician who spotted the symptoms of a brain tumour during an eye examination.
Sutton 13-year-old Leah Fraser visited Specsavers in Epsom High Street after experiencing blurred vision, headaches and vomiting for several weeks. Doctors had dismissed her symptoms as signs of a virus or migraines but optometrist Amit Patel spotted some irregularities in one of her eyes and immediately referred her to St George's Hospital in Tooting for tests.
The tests revealed a tumour in the centre of Leah's brain that was causing pressure behind her eyes and could have killed her without immediate action. Doctors could not remove the tumour completely because of its position in the middle of her brain but were able to drain fluid from the tumour using a tube inserted through Leah's skull and into her brain.
Leah spent a week in hospital and has now made a full recovery but needs to go for annual MRI scans to monitor the tumour.
Leah's dad Justin Fraser said: "This has been a really terrifying ordeal. We had already visited the GP and local hospital about Leah’s headaches but they put them down to a virus or migraines. It was thanks to Amit at Specsavers that we got to the hospital just in time. The consultant said that if the tumour had gone undetected for any longer Leah could have died."
Glen MacGregor, store director for Specsavers in Epsom added: "We’re delighted that Leah’s surgery was a success and she is recovering well. It just goes to show how important an eye examination is, not only in testing your vision, but also in the detection of a number of potentially harmful issues."
The NHS recommends getting your eyes checked every two years although elderly people, children with glasses, people with a family history of glaucoma and diabetics should go more regularly.
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