When Valerie Logan went along for a routine eye exam, her optician spotted an abnormality which was later diagnosed as a brain aneurysm.
The 67-year-old visited Specsavers in Cumbernauld, and mentioned that she had been suffering reduced vision in both of her eyes. Optometrist Tej Saggo spotted that Valerie had a raised macula, which is an oval shaped yellow spot near the centre of the retina.
Tej referred the grandmother-of-five to an eye specialist at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride. Valerie, who lives in Tiree Court, Cumbernauld, was then sent to the Southern General Hospital’s neurosurgery department, where she underwent a serious of tests before being diagnosed.
Valerie required urgent surgery and spent seven hours in theatre in an attempt to stop blood flowing into the aneurysm.
“When I visited Specsavers in Cumbernauld I didn’t think anything was wrong, and even when Tej asked other optometrists into the room for their opinion, I still didn’t think there was a problem,” said Valerie, a retired church worker.
“When I was referred to Hairmyres Hospital I continued to think everything was ok, and it was only when I was diagnosed at the Southern General that I realised the severity of the situation.
“After the operation, the surgeon came to see me and when I explained that it was Specsavers who spotted something was wrong, she said I should visit Tej and thank her because she saved my life.”
Valerie recovered from her operation quickly. However, her reduced vision hasn’t been restored. She now never leaves the house without a chain around her neck which has a card that explains to paramedics where the aneurysm is located.
“I will have check-ups every two years, and there’s always a risk that the aneurysm would burst, but I feel well within myself,” added Valerie.
“It was a life-changing experience and I can’t thank Tej enough for saving my life. I recommend that everyone gets their eyes checked regularly, and if they notice anything unusual, to make an appointment immediately.”
Optometrist Tej Saggo said: “Valerie’s case was very unusual and when she had her check-up, it was clear that something was abnormal.
“The hospital hadn’t updated me on Valerie’s condition, and so when she came to visit the store after the operation, and told me what had happened, I was very surprised. I am delighted that she’s recovering well and wish her all the best for the future.
“This will serve as a reminder to many people to get their eyes checked regularly, and to visit us if they have any concerns about their eyes. We can detect many conditions during an eye exam, such as glaucoma, diabetes and in rare situations, even brain tumours.”