OPTICIAN RESCUES GERONIMO TWICE IN FIVE YEARS
A quick-thinking optician has played a major role in saving an Auchinleck man’s sight.
And the treatment he received thanks to Annette Halnan’s expertise may also have helped to save his life at a later date.
Geronimo Fernandez Donis, whose family owned Auchinleck’s greyhound stadium, first felt unwell in 2016. He was driving home from Ayr when his vision was disrupted by black stars flashing on and off.
He got a same-day appointment with his GP who advised him to visit an optician right away.
Annette, owner of Firstsight Eyecare in Cumnock and Auchinleck examined Gerry, as he is known, that night in her Auchinleck practice.
She was so disturbed by what she found, she arranged for Gerry to be seen immediately by specialists at Ayr Hospital.
It turned out Gerry had a 9% chance of suffering a stroke and a much higher chance of losing his sight.
The 80-year-old, who’d never needed to take medication during his life, was given five pills to take daily to keep the condition at bay.
Earlier this year, as he celebrated five years of good health, he suffered a severe headache. As a qualified First Aider, Gerry recognized the possibility that he was seriously ill.
His son rushed him to Ayr Hospital and a scan found he was having a bleed on the brain.
He was taken by ambulance to the Western General in Edinburgh where he underwent surgery to repair the damage.
Gerry said: “The staff at Western General told me the medication I was taking for my original complaint helped to save my life, because the pills thinned my blood and controlled my blood pressure.”
Annette Halnan added: “When I first examined Gerry I noticed large patches of paleness, known as Retinal Pallor, at the back of his right eye.
“This is caused when the blood supply to the eye is partially blocked and requires immediate attention.
“The pills he was prescribed would have lessened the impact of the bleed on the brain.”