James Marks suffering from a brain tumour will receive £640 from a fundraising event organised by the opticians which first detected his symptoms.

Regular customer

Fifteen-year-old James Marks from Watford is a regular customer at Specsavers Watford and it was at a recent routine eye examination that optometrist, Ruth Ritchie, became concerned about what she saw at the back of his eyes.

She said: ‘My first checks showed that there was minimal change to his vision since I’d last seen him, but on examining the back of his eyes I could see that his optic discs were swollen. Inflammation of the optic discs – or papilledema as it’s also known - is caused by raised intracranial pressure which warrants an immediate hospital referral to ensure the cause of the pressure build up can be identified quickly.’

Immediately referred to hospital

Ritchie immediately referred James to Watford Urgent Eye Clinic and since learning of his diagnosis has been on hand, along with the rest of the Watford Specsavers team, to offer support to both James and his mum.

Bake sale for James

On Saturday 4 March the team put their baking skills to good use by setting up a cake stall outside of the store with an image of James and a description of his condition – which raised a total of £320. Store directors Aftab Sham and Tim Griffiths then matched the £320 that was raised, taking the total donation to £640.

The Specsavers store would like to use this opportunity to raise awareness, as James’ case shows, even if someone’s vision seems normal there could be other problems with the health of their eyes, which is why having regular eye health checks with an optician is very important.

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