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Haverfordwest opticians help discover brain tumour

31 March, 2016
Judith Edwards with Andy Britton, optometrist at Specsavers Haverfordwest
Judith Edwards with Andy Britton, the optician that helped identify her brain tumour

A retired project manager from Haverfordwest has thanked her local opticians after a routine check-up helped detect a potentially life-threatening brain tumour.

What happened

Judith Edwards, 65, visited Specsavers for a contact lens check-up, when Andy Britton, the optician who tested Ms Edwards, noticed that her eyes were not reacting as quickly as they should be.

After a full eye examination, Mr Britton had concerns about her health and contacted Ms Edwards’ GP to make an emergency appointment.

A week later, Ms Edwards had an MRI scan at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest, which led to her being diagnosed with Meningioma, a brain tumour that required immediate surgery.

Meningiomas are brain tumours that develop in the layers of tissue that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. In Ms Edwards’ case, her Meningioma had grown to the size of an orange and the operation to remove it took more than eight hours. It took more than two years for her to fully recover from surgery and radiotherapy.

Importance of sight tests

Ms Edwards said: ‘I went for my usual routine contact lens test at the store and when I was told that more tests were needed, I never expected what was to come.

‘As soon as the tests were completed, staff at the Specsavers store made my case a priority and personally contacted my doctor to make sure I was seen immediately.

‘I could easily have had a seizure or crashed my car as my tumour was growing day by day. I’m so grateful to the staff at Specsavers for the care and concern shown to me throughout this whole process, if my tumour had gone undetected I don’t know if I would be here today.’

Paul Skoczek, director of Specsavers in Haverfordwest, said: ‘Had Ms Edwards’ Meningioma not been detected then she could have lost her eyesight or even her life.

‘Thankfully, the vast majority of customers we see at Specsavers in Haverfordwest are healthy and we can treat the eye health concerns they may have. However, unfortunately on occasions we do see more serious conditions, which highlights the importance of looking after your eye health by having regular sight tests.’

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