Carer thanks optometrist for saving her life

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:35 05 April 2018

Rama Venkat from Burnham Specsavers who advised Konnie to get further tests after an eye test.

Rama Venkat from Burnham Specsavers who advised Konnie to get further tests after an eye test.


A 22-year-old has praised a Burnham optometrist for saving her life after he spotted a tumour during an eye test.

Konnie Rowe visited Specsavers in Burnham after suffering from crippling headaches which she put down to eye strain.

During her eye test, optometrist Rama Venkat noticed a swelling at the back of her eye and suggested she went for further checks.

After several days of tests in hospital, doctors found a tumour the size of a golf ball behind her right eye, which they believed had been there for some time as the body had formed a sack around it preventing it from attacking the brain.

Konnie said: “I was prescribed strong steroids to prevent the tumour from growing, which caused me to gain over three stone in weight.

“I just couldn’t control my eating and the weight gain left me feeling depressed and anxious. I just didn’t feel myself anymore.”

Specialists at Southmead Hospital in Bristol carried out a six-hour operation to remove the tumour.

Konnie was left partially sighted in one eye from the surgery and has some numbness in her face and scalp. She also struggled with depression but began seeing a counsellor who has helped her start a new chapter in her life.

She has begun a new career as a carer and is looking forward to helping other people.

She said: “I can’t thank Rama at Specsavers enough. He is so dedicated to helping people through his work and he literally saved my life in so many ways.

“It sounds strange but I feel thankful for having been through this experience.”

Optometrist Rama Venkat, said: “Konnie came into the store suffering from terrible headaches, which she assumed were down to an incorrect prescription.

“I carried out a routine eye test but as soon as I saw the results from her visual field test I knew it was something more serious.

“The fundus image of the back of her eye confirmed my suspicions and I advised her to seek further medical advice.

“There were several possibilities of what the diagnosis could be which I talked her through, including fluid on the brain and potentially a brain tumour.

“I was delighted when Konnie came back to us. She is so happy and has a wonderful future ahead of her.”

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