Optician helped save Chippenham woman’s life

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Anna Lewin, left, with Amber Carter Anna Lewin, left, with Amber Carter

A routine sight test led to an emergency operation that saved a young Chippenham woman’s life.

Amber Carter went to the opticians thinking she might need glasses and did not return home again for two weeks.

The 23-year-old had no idea she had a brain tumour but within 24 hours she had had part of her brain removed.

She said: “I started having really bad headaches and sickness and began to have a weaker arm on my right side.”

She went to Haine & Smith opticians in Emery Gate, Chippenham, in October after her GP suggested she might need glasses. She had been suffering since July.

“In the end I was in so much pain and feeling really tired all the time, I booked an eye test for the next day,” she said.

The sight test showed that her optic nerves were swollen and she was given an emergency referral. She went at once to the RUH Bath hospital for CAT and MRI scans.

When the results came through an ambulance took her to Frenchay Hospital for a critical nine-hour operation. “It happened so fast,” said Miss Carter, who lives in Yewstock Crescent and works as assistant manager for The Perfume Shop in Bath.

“I was petrified when they said I had a brain tumour. When the surgeon brought my scan picture up it was under his arm but I could see it and it was huge. I thought that was it for me then.”

Miss Carter used to go to Abbeyfield School and studied performing arts at Chippenham College.

She said: “They actually shaved part of my brain away because the tumour had got so big. They said it was slow growing, I could have had it for a while.”

She said she does not know if she would still be alive if optician Anna Lewin had not acted so quickly.

When Miss Carter woke up from the operation she had no feeling on her right side. She is now having physiotherapy three times a week and still cannot walk very far, but her movement is improving.

She said: “They don’t know if I’ll get all the sensation back, but I’d rather have this weakness and know they got it all out.”

Comments (5)

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5:24pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Yer Tis says...

Be interesting to know which Doctor it was that completely missed the Brain Tumors symptoms.

Really instils confidence in them doesn't it!
Be interesting to know which Doctor it was that completely missed the Brain Tumors symptoms. Really instils confidence in them doesn't it! Yer Tis

5:39pm Wed 23 Jan 13

WR950 says...

Quite! Typical GP "oh it's nothing, you just need to get your eyes checked".

Dreadful. I hope the GP has been reported to the General Medical Council.
Quite! Typical GP "oh it's nothing, you just need to get your eyes checked". Dreadful. I hope the GP has been reported to the General Medical Council. WR950

6:20pm Wed 23 Jan 13

hitro says...

This story highlights that people concentrate of problems with the left side of the body for heart problems. Luckily the optician used her "window" into her brain and spotted the problem.
This story highlights that people concentrate of problems with the left side of the body for heart problems. Luckily the optician used her "window" into her brain and spotted the problem. hitro

11:26am Thu 24 Jan 13

HughBriss says...

Doctors aren't opticians and don't have the equipment to examine eyes in this detail. Suggesting she goes to an optician was the best thing the GP could do - hence he/she was doing his/her job correctly.
Doctors aren't opticians and don't have the equipment to examine eyes in this detail. Suggesting she goes to an optician was the best thing the GP could do - hence he/she was doing his/her job correctly. HughBriss

6:26pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Yer Tis says...

HughBriss wrote:
Doctors aren't opticians and don't have the equipment to examine eyes in this detail. Suggesting she goes to an optician was the best thing the GP could do - hence he/she was doing his/her job correctly.
So she the Doctor didn't miss this then, when she went to her GP in October and reported these symptoms.

" She said: “I started having really bad headaches and sickness and began to have a weaker arm on my right side."

Sorry but that is negligence by the GP!
[quote][p][bold]HughBriss[/bold] wrote: Doctors aren't opticians and don't have the equipment to examine eyes in this detail. Suggesting she goes to an optician was the best thing the GP could do - hence he/she was doing his/her job correctly.[/p][/quote]So she the Doctor didn't miss this then, when she went to her GP in October and reported these symptoms. " She said: “I started having really bad headaches and sickness and began to have a weaker arm on my right side." Sorry but that is negligence by the GP! Yer Tis

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