IF IT hadn’t been for a routine sight test, Kingshurst mum Julie Fowler could have been facing a very different Christmas 2020.
The mother of three has always been an advocate of taking her children to see the optician, so when a routine appointment came up for her daughter Madison, she took her to Specsavers in Castle Vale.
Optometrist Harjit Bansal found nothing untoward but did note a marked change in the nine-year-old’s prescription.
As this was unusual, he asked Julie to make another appointment for three months’ time so he could review Madison’s vision again.
On returning to the store in October, Harjit, using digital retinal photography, took photos of the back of Madison’s eyes and found all was not right.
He made an immediate referral to Birmingham Eye Hospital and after being assessed Madison was admitted to City Hospital for an MRI before being transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The MRI confirmed Madison had a tumor growing at the back of her eye, causing her optic nerve to swell and affecting her vision and she needed surgery to remove it.
The situation was made more distressing as Julie’s husband couldn’t join his family due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“It was all a shock,” said Julie.
“We never imagined anything serious like this. Madison had been having some headaches, but her blood tests were all normal.”
Madison underwent two operations to remove the tumor, which fortunately was benign. She returned home and is now recovering well.
“I can’t begin to thank Harjit and his team enough,” said Julie.
“To think if he hadn’t been so cautious in that first appointment to call us back after three months, Madison’s tumor would have continued to grow and who know what may have happened.”
Sukhi Drake, store director Specsavers Castle Vale said: “We’re delighted to hear that Madison is on the mend.
“Stories like Madison’s show the importance of ensuring you and your family see your optician regularly, and making an appointment right away if you notice any changes to your vision or experience any problems.”
For more on Specsavers, visit https://www.specsavers.co.uk/