When Yorkshire artist Austin Ruddy, 73, was told he could lose the sight in his right eye, he feared that he might never paint again. But his wife and son had bigger worries. Without the early diagnosis he received as a result of a trip to Specsavers, the cancer in his eye could have spread to his bloodstream and attacked his major organs.
‘I had noticed that my eyes weren’t as good as they should be but I just thought I needed a new pair of specs, so I made an appointment with my local Specsavers in Ripon. My optometrist, Jennifer Long, spotted a peculiarity during my eye check and referred me to the local hospital. There, doctors confirmed a melanoma in my right eye.
When the consultant told me I might lose the sight in that eye, I said: “Can’t you amputate my leg instead?” I’d rather lose a leg or an arm than my sight.
‘After two lengthy operations, the surgeons successfully removed the melanoma and were able to save some of the sight in my right eye. This means I can still paint, drive and enjoy looking at the world.
The importance of eye-tests
‘My advice is, if you’re having problems with your eyesight, go and get it checked out. My friends at Specsavers took my experience in their stride to help get me the best possible outcome. My whole family are Specsavers enthusiasts now!’