A Midlands-based optometrist’s vigilance in spotting the signs of a double brain bleed helped save the life of retired resident, Michael Hannan.
The 67-year-old man (pictured above, left) who is also diabetic, reported experiencing a sudden change in his vision which he described as being similar to a spider’s web coming across his eyes. He called the NHS 111 team, who recommended making an appointment with his local optician.
Mr Hannan’s daughter then made some calls to see who might have an appointment at short notice and Specsavers on the High Street in Brownhills was able to help. The eye test was carried out by optometrist Anoop Rai (pictured above, right) who was alerted to a problem that she thought needed further investigation.
‘During the field of vision test I noticed that there was a reduction in Mr Hannan’s peripheral vision,’ says Anoop. ‘I could also see a leakage of blood in the eye and suspected he had either had a stroke or was going to have one. I consulted with my colleague and we agreed that Mr Hannan needed to go back and see his doctor immediately.’
Mr Hannan’s doctor sent him straight to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton the same day. A scan revealed two bleeds on his brain, which needed an operation to repair. Following a four-day hospital stay, Mr Hannan was then transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
‘I’d been taking aspirin so was told I would need to wait at least five days until it was out of my system before they could operate,’ says Mr Hannan. ‘I was booked in to have the first operation the following week which involved putting four holes in my head to fit two drains. It was three and a half hours before I came out of recovery and I stayed in hospital for three more days. As I live on my own, I had to be assessed to make sure I was able to look after myself before returning home.
‘I’ve recovered extremely well and I feel much better than I did. I’m hugely grateful to Specsavers for being able to see me at short notice and for the way in which they handled everything. If it wasn’t for their prompt action, the outcome could have been very different.’
‘We’re delighted to hear that Mr Hannan’s operation was a success and he’s back at home now,’ comments Anoop. ‘As We encourage everyone to have their eyes tested at least every two years, but as Mr Hannan’s case illustrates, if someone notices a problem with their eyes or vision, they should make an appointment immediately.’
Specsavers in Brownhills delivers services for Diabetic Retinal Screening on behalf of the Heart of England Foundation Trust.
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