News

Optician saves school girl’s life

02 December, 2013
Eye test helps diagnose brain tumour
Lucy smiling after her operation was a success.

A 12-year–old girl was revealed to have a life threatening brain tumour after optometrist Ambreena Ahsan Bhatti, spotted the signs in an eye examination.

Lucy Edwards from Kenilworth developed symptoms last June, including sleepiness, vomiting, dizziness and a stiff neck. Her parents initially thought it was merely a virus but after her illness carried on for more than a few days, they began to fear it was   something worse. When her blood was examined at her GP’s surgery the test result didn’t shed any light on the situation

The family were advised to visit Specsavers where Ambreena used digital retinal photography within the eye examination to reveal a large shadow lurking over Lucy’s retina. Knowing the signs of a brain tumour when she saw this, Ambreena told Lucy’s family to take her to Birmingham Children’s Hospital immediately and also called the accident and emergency centre.

Lucy was immediately transferred via ambulance to the children’s hospital in Birmingham to remove what was then identified as a large brain tumour that had been causing her symptoms. While not all of the tumour could be removed, due to its location, it is benign and will not cause her problems in the future. Due to the lack of headaches, Lucy’s parents had not considered that her problem was the fault of a brain tumour.

Ambreena said ‘Lucy’s story really does demonstrate just how important regular eye examinations are, and how they can pick up a range of health conditions, including tumours.’

Lucy and her family are now raising money for Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital charities.