Lincoln mum praises eye specialist who saved her son’s life

A Lincoln mum has heaped praise on an eye specialist at Vision Express whose attention to detail saved her son’s life.

Kirsten Lee, mother to 17-year-old Mathew, booked a routine eye test at Vision Express in Waterside Shopping Centre after Mathew started to complain of weaker sight.

During the examination, resident optometrist Natalia Nowakowska detected a swollen optic nerve – which can indicate fluid on the brain – and immediately referred Mathew to the ophthalmologist at Lincoln County Hospital.

Having been born with fluid on the brain, Mathew underwent successful shunt surgery when he was a baby.

The surgery involved fitting a thin tube to drain the excess fluid from his brain safely into his abdomen, where the fluid would then be absorbed into his blood stream.

Kirsten said: “After being seen by the ophthalmologist we were referred to the neurologist for an MRI scan because the swelling and pressure were symptomatic of a failing shunt.

“As we awaited our appointment Mathew started to develop black fuzzy vision and we were referred to Queen’s Medical Centre. The neurologist confirmed that his ventricles had grown significantly and that he needed a new shunt, to not only save his vision, but his life.

“I am so grateful to Natalia and the staff at Vision Express for the professionalism showed in Mathew’s care. If the swelling had gone undetected, it might have been a very different outcome.

“It’s been a real rollercoaster but I’m happy to say that Mathew is fully recovered and back at Lincoln College working towards a career in car restoration.”

L-R: Kirsten Lee, Mathew Lee and Vision Express  Lincoln Store Manager Donna Green

L-R: Kirsten Lee, Mathew Lee and Vision Express
Lincoln Store Manager Donna Green

Since being fitted with a new shunt, Mathew has experienced no further symptoms or impaired vision.

Vision Express Lincoln store manager Donna Green said: “The eye test allowed us to identify a serious condition and refer Mathew immediately to receive the expert treatment he needed.

“Any increase in the pressure behind the eye is dangerous, so the sooner you can be seen by a specialist, the less stressful the treatment will be and there is a greater likelihood of a positive outcome.”