Father grateful as eye test findings lead to operation ‘to save his life’

Rama Venket booked Robert Reading in for an urgent eye test. Picture: Emma Snowdon

Rama Venket booked Robert Reading in for an urgent eye test. Picture: Emma Snowdon - Credit: Archant

A 62-year-old man has praised the quick actions of an optician who saved his life.

Robert Reading had been suffering from dizzy spells and episodes of temporary blurred vision when his daughter Leah recommended he take an eye test.

He was also feeling tired and unwell and had experienced four blackouts, prompting an appointment at Specsavers in High Street, where Leah works.

Optician Rama Venkat booked Robert in for an urgent eye test as he was concerned by his symptoms.

He said: “I felt it was my professional duty to examine Robert as soon as possible, I hence tested him urgently as an extra patient at the end of my long day.

“During the examination I noticed significant narrowing of the blood vessels of his retina, which prompted me to take immediate action.”

Robert, who lives in Burnham, was urgently referred to his GP for blood tests and later to Musgrove Park Hospital for an ultrasound. The tests confirmed there was a blockage in the carotid artery which transports blood to his eye and the brain.

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He was admitted immediately for a life-saving operation with the artery cut with a laser and clamped.

A stent was also inserted into the artery to prevent the blockage spreading into his brain as carotid artery blockage, if untreated, can lead to a stroke or a sudden loss of vision.

Robert said: “The prompt action from Rama was undoubtedly a huge factor in my speedy diagnosis and treatment and I am most grateful.

“I am now 90 per cent recovered thanks to the care and attention I received from Rama and the hospital, which meant the blockage in my carotid artery was picked up in time to be treated.

“I also had a slight blockage on the left side but that was treated with medication.

“My experience has shown how right Leah was in telling me about the importance of an eye examination in checking so much more than just your eye sight.”

Leah added: ‘I cannot thank Rama enough, he literally saved my dad’s life.

“Without his insistence on an immediate test, our story could have ended very differently.

“I always knew how important an eye test was from working at Specsavers but now I have personal experience.”