Ellie Musgrove, 21, underwent emergency brain surgery at the Salford Royal Hospital on the same day she visited a Specsavers opticians after a GP prescribed her antibiotics and Ibuprofen
A 21-year-old woman was given a terrifying diagnosis after visiting an opticians with blurred vision.
Ellie Musgrove was prescribed antibiotics and Ibuprofen by a GP while suffering severe headaches, neck pain and black spots in her vision in January.
But after her symptoms failed to improve, she booked an appointment with Specsavers – and was immediately referred to Manchester Eye Hospital.
On the same day, she was rushed by ambulance for emergency brain surgery at the Salford Royal Hospital. The following day, an MRI scan confirmed she had a benign brain tumor.
The carer, who works with vulnerable adults with special needs, told the Manchester Evening News: “I went from having my eyes tested at 11am to having emergency brain surgery by 11.30pm on the same day.
“An MRI scan the following day confirmed I had a benign brain tumor between the pineal and pituitary glands, which was blocking the fluid flow around my brain.”
Ellie was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – a build up of fluid deep within the brain – which is caused by a brain tumor. Emergency surgery is required to drain the fluid.
She continued: “I was also diagnosed with Addison’s disease. the tumor is affecting my pituitary gland, which is a devastating blow as I will have to take hydrocortisone steroids for the rest of my life.
“I am slowly but surely recovering and will now have regular MRI scans to keep check on the tumor. The neurosurgeons think it’s a slow growing tumor, that only 1% of people develop, so hopefully I won’t need surgery to remove it anytime soon.
“I may well need further surgery if the fluid builds up again, but at least I know what the symptoms are now.”
Specsavers optometrist, Aqeel Mahmood said he noticed something was “seriously wrong” when he detected swelling in the optic nerves of both of Ellie’s eyes.
He added: “Urgent medical intervention was required, so I immediately referred Ellie to Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.
“Ellie’s story shows the importance of looking after your eye health and if you have any major worries then do get checked out by an optician.
“Had Ellie ignored her symptoms and put off seeing an optician, it could have been a very different outcome.”
There are three types of hydrocephalus – congenital (present at birth), acquired (develops after birth) and normal pressure, which usually develops only in older people.
Symptoms include a headache, being sick, blurred vision and difficulty walking, according to the NHS. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal.
Ellie praised the opticians for “saving her life”, saying: “My life has been turned upside down, but I, along with my family will be forever grateful to Aqeel and the Specsavers team.
“If it wasn’t for them, I would not be here today, they saved my life. I would also like to wholeheartedly thank the medical teams at Manchester Royal and Salford Royal hospitals – they looked after me so well and were so caring. ”