A ROUTINE eye check-up saved the life of a Barnsley scaffholder after a golf ball-sized brain tumour was detected.
Wayne Evans, 40, of Wombwell, underwent major brain surgery, which lasted 11 hours, to remove the majority of the tumour.
He been suffering from headaches for about eight weeks before having his eyes tested at an optician’s in Barnsley.
He was rushed to Sheffield’s Hallamshire Hospital where he was told he needed the operation or he could be dead in two weeks.
A surgeon managed to remove 75 per cent of the tumour, and Wayne now faces daily radiotherapy after Christmas to try and kill the remaining 25 per cent.
He is now recovering at home after a two-week spell in hospital.
Wayne said: “I had been having the headaches for about eight weeks. I wasn’t overly concerned, I just thought it was a headache. It was like a migraine. It didn’t cause me to black out, but it was really strong.
“I went to the doctors three times and he kept fobbing me off saying it was a migraine.
“I tried to work through the pain.
“Towards the end I lost my vision in my right eye, but I still thought it was down to the headaches.
“I think I had four days off work.”
Self-employed Wayne was advised to get his eyes tested by friend Steve Gregory, and booked an appointment two days later.
He spent two hours having tests and was stunned when the optician found a bleed behind his eye.
He said: “I went thinking it would be a routine check up, but after two hours they sent me to hospital.
“The optician couldn’t tell me a great deal, but said I’d better go to hospital.”
Wayne went straight to Barnsley Hospital where he had a scan, and was rushed to the Hallamshire in an ambulance with sirens blaring and blue lights flashing.
He was admitted to the neurology ward and underwent an MRI scan - which revealed the extent of the tumour.
Wayne said: “They showed me the scan and I was shocked by how big it was and that it could have been growing for more than a year. But I’d had no problems before.
“They said they would need to put me under, that I’d need an operation.
“I felt lucky that it had been caught, if it had been two weeks later then I might not have been here.
“When I heard that, I thought ‘this is serious’ but you just do what you have to do to get through it.
“It was what it was, it had to be dealt with.”
Wayne remembers nothing of the operation, just waking up the next day feeling drowsy. He was then monitored in hospital for two weeks before being allowed home last Friday.
He’s taking things one step at a time and says some days are better than others. He gets tired easily and his balance has been affected, but his vision has slowly returned, as has the use of his right hand, and his speech is not as slurred as it was after the operation.
Wayne is now facing a one-month cycle of radiotherapy after Christmas, but is looking forward to spending the festive period with friends.
His days as a scaffolder are most likely over due to issues with his balance, and he is unsure of whether he will be able to work again.
Wayne was advised to get his eyes tested by his friend Steve, also a scaffolder.
Steve, 42, originally from Jump but now working in London, said: “We were chatting on Facebook, having a catch up, and he was telling me about these bad headaches he was having. He said he couldn’t get rid of them, no matter how many painkillers he was taking. I asked him when he last had his eyes tested and he said ages ago, so I told him to get his eyes tested.
“All it was from me was a lucky call.”
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