Great Baddow resident Lynsey Chapman praises optometrist colleague Amit Nakum for his quick thinking and action, which helped save her sight
Senior optometrist Amit Nakum is committed to providing high quality care for patients at SpaMedica in Chelmsford, yet it was colleague Lynsey Chapman who benefited from his expertise when he noticed her worsening eye condition – and potentially saved her sight from permanent damage.
Patient co-ordinator Lynsey, from Great Baddow, was at work at the NHS eye health provider, assisting with appointments for cataract surgery, YAG laser capsulotomy and wet AMD treatment, yet was suffering with an eye complaint herself.
Amit noticed Lynsey’s left eye looked sore, and advised her to apply dry eye drops to try to reduce the discomfort. When the condition worsened the following day, Amit asked to examine Lynsey’s eye. Identifying a potentially sight-threatening issue, Amit arranged an emergency appointment for Lynsey at Southend General Hospital.
Lynsey was found to have recurrent corneal erosion syndrome with anterior uveitis. If left untreated, the relatively rare condition of uveitis can lead to permanent vision loss. Lynsey was treated with a combination of eye drops and will need to manage the condition with eye drops and regular check-ups for the rest of her life.
Lynsey said: “I cannot thank Amit enough, and must also thank the rest of the team who looked after me. I’d had soreness in my eye on and off for over a year – it was sensitive to light and would stream. It was one of those things I knew I should get looked at, but it would flare up every couple of months and calm down again. This time though, it was worse than ever – when I got to hospital, my eye was completely red with no white in it at all.
“I’d put off getting my eyes checked sooner, which I realise now could have led to a terrible outcome. It’s so important to look after your eyes, and I’d encourage anyone with ongoing soreness or something not quite right to make an appointment with their optician straight away.
“It was shocking and scary to be told that I could lose my sight. Thanks to Amit, it hasn’t come to that, and my eye now feels more comfortable than it has in months.”
Amit Nakum, senior lead optometrist, who has been with SpaMedica Chelmsford for four years, said: “Outside of the eye examination room, I like to think I’m pretty observant anyway, and so when I spotted Lynsey’s sore eye while she was working in our reception area, I knew it needed treatment. We tried the drops but unfortunately the inflammation got worse, not better, and I suspected uveitis – it can be very serious indeed and worsens the longer it is left untreated.
“I arranged an emergency appointment at the hospital that same day. If I’d seen a patient with Lynsey’s symptoms, I’d have referred them in the same way, as I hope any good optometrist would. Although Lynsey was in ‘the right place at the right time’, I’d advise any patient with similar symptoms to visit their optician rather than a general health practitioner, as they’ll have the relevant experience of eye conditions to refer the patient appropriately.”
Janis Watts, hospital manager, SpaMedica Chelmsford added: “We knew Amit was a hugely valued team player here at Chelmsford, but he’s certainly taken that to the next level, showing that our commitment to providing quality care applies not only to our patients, but to colleagues as well.”