Fruit farmer saved from sight loss during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 08:06 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:16 06 May 2020
A man who suffered a detached retina whilst in lockdown during the coronavirus crisis has thanked the optician who saved his sight.
Malcolm Stone, 59, a fruit farmer from Sudbury, woke one morning to find the sight in his left eye partially blocked but initially thought the problem would go away.
He said: “I first realised something was wrong when I woke up and a dark circle seemed to be hanging down from the top left corner of my eye.
“I didn’t want to worry at first as I thought it might pass.”
However, after two days and with his vision deteriorating rapidly, Mr Stone realised the gravity of the situation and called his optician, Mr Amar Phakey, ophthalmic director at Specsavers Sudbury.
Mr Phakey arranged an emergency in-house appointment and discovered fluid build-up and signs of a detached retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye, and immediately contacted Colchester Hospital.
Mr Stone was booked in for surgery the next day after the hospital confirmed the retina had detached from the back of his eye and underwent corrective retinoplasty surgery.
Mr Stone praised the treatment he received from his local opticians and said: “‘I can’t thank Amar and the team enough.
“Specsavers were the first port of call when I realised I needed help, and they were very professional, knew the answers and made sure to get further opinions when needed – Amar was absolutely first class.
“I’m not sure how I would’ve received treatment so quickly without their help. I didn’t want to bother A&E with the current crisis going on, but Specsavers were able to see me and I felt safe, secure and clean in-store.
“It’s an excellent service.’
Mr Phakey said: “The reason we are open for urgent and essential care is for customers like Malcolm.
“Access to professional eye care services remains vital through lockdown, and many would be at risk without it – particularly while the NHS is under so much stress.
“Fortunately, Malcolm contacted us when he did. He was dealing with a condition that could’ve led to permanent sight loss and he didn’t even know it.
“If he was unable to be seen for an appointment and further testing, his condition could’ve been far worse.”