A girl that was found to have a brain tumor after a visit at Specsavers thank the staff for having “saved my life”.
Ellie Musgrove, 21, began experiencing extreme headaches and neck pains shortly after her 21st birthday in January 2022. But she realized this was much more than an alcohol-related hangover. She was also unable to be able to see clearly when she lifted her eyebrows. Her vision impaired due to double vision and black spots.
After receiving antibiotics by phone from her GP the symptoms didn’t improve and so Ellie decided to visit the opticians. As if she thought she only needed glasses, she was expecting to learn that she might be suffering from a brain tumour which , if found out a day later could have led to death.
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When they noticed a swelling on her optic nerve the staff from Specsavers sent her and her dad Mike for treatment at Salford Royal Hospital and just 12 hours later, she had emergency brain surgery to eliminate excess brain fluid. A few days later after surgery, an MRI scan revealed that she had a brain tumor which caused Addison’s disease. It’s the most rare disorder which develops when the body isn’t producing enough hormones.
The caretaker who has to take steroids throughout the day and said: “I knew my headaches were not caused by being hungover since the day I turned a birthday by having the family having a nice meal Nothing too extravagant. I’ve never had headaches however these were awful. I thought I was sleeping strangely, which made my neck hurt.
“My life was turned upside down, however, the situation could’ve been more dire, and I’m always trying to remind myself of this. I’m thankful that I went to Specsavers at the time I did. I’m thankful to the optician and doctors for saving my life.”
Ellie’s symptoms first started following her birthday on 5 January 2022. At that time, she experienced severe headaches and neck pain. Along with blurred vision and double vision she also began hearing “pulsating sounding heartbeats that were whooshing”.
She said: “My headaches and neck pains appeared to be more intense in the evenings and mornings, however they remained present all day. My GP believed I might have an ear infection, and prescribed Ibuprofen and antibiotics, however, my symptoms didn’t get better. I made an appointment with my optometrist in Specsavers.”
Heaton Park Specsavers optometrist, Aqeel Mahmood stated that immediate medical attention was needed in the following words: “At the time, Ellie scheduled an appointment after she wasn’t able to determine the cause of her neck and head aches, as well as diminished vision. I observed inflammation of the optic nerves within both eyes. This along with Ellie’s complaints, indicated that something was very going on.”
Following a number of tests and scans on the same the day before, Ellie was transferred by ambulance to the neurology section at Salford Royal Hospital. The diagnosis was hydrocephalus, a build-up of cerebral fluid that was caused by a tumor in the brain and required an emergency operation to remove the fluid.
She was having her eyes examined at 11am, and then having an emergency surgery at 11.30pm. She stated: “I am slowly but getting better and will undergo regularly scheduled MRI scans to keep an eye on the tumor.
“The neurosurgeons believe that this is a slow-growing tumour which only 1% of patients have, so I won’t require surgery to eliminate it any time very soon. There is a chance that I will require further surgery if the fluid build up however I do have a clear understanding of the symptoms right now.
“My life is changed completely, but I, as well as my family, will forever be thankful for Aqeel along with his Specsavers team. If not for them, I’d not be alive today. They have saved me from death. I also want to express my gratitude to the medical staff in Manchester Royal and Salford Royal Hospitals. They took care of me with such care and were extremely caring.”
Aqeel said: “Ellie’s story shows the importance of taking care of your eyesight and if you’re experiencing serious eye problems, make sure you are examined with an optometrist. If Ellie neglected her health concerns and delayed seeing an optician, it might have had a completely different story.”
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