A STOCKTON woman has undergone potentially life-saving surgery after an eye test helped to detect signs of a potentially deadly brain tumour.

Rebekah Jennings suffered migraines while growing up, which doctors believed were caused by hormonal changes. But the 28-year-old knew something wasn’t right when the crippling headaches became more frequent this year.

Rebekah said: “In the last six months, the migraines became a regular thing. I was extremely fatigued - getting out of bed in the morning felt like I had just ran a marathon.

“By early May, they were a daily occurrence. The slightest movement made me feel dizzy and soon after, I developed tunnel vision. I thought that I must need my eyes tested, so I phoned by local optician.”

Specsavers stores remained open for urgent and essential eye care during the Covid-19 pandemic, so optometrist Ashleigh Dwyer was able to carry out an eye examination at the Specsavers Stockton store.

Ashleigh said: “Rebekah’s examination showed signs of papilledema in both eyes, which is when the optic nerve at the back of the eye becomes swollen. This can be an indication of a number of injuries or conditions, one of which is a tumour. So as soon as I found the irregularities, I referred her immediately to James Cook Hospital.”

Rebekah underwent a series of tests, followed by a CT and MRI scan, which confirmed she had a brain tumour on her right frontal lobe which, if left untreated, could have been life threatening. After undergoing surgery on May 20, the tumour was removed.

Rebekah said: “The doctor couldn’t believe that I was still walking around as normal. Basically, my Specsavers appointment saved my life. I couldn’t be any more grateful for how quickly and professionally I was helped and referred on.”

Following surgery, Rebekah was treated for an infection on her brain, undergoing a lumbar puncture to drain a build-up of cerebral fluid. She was discharged on June 10 and now wants to raise awareness of her condition and the importance of seeking prompt treatment.

Rebekah, who works in a care home and volunteers as a girls’ football coach, said: “I am looking to raise as much money as possible for the staff at James Cook Ward 24 where I received my life-saving surgery, and also for the Little Princess Trust.

“I’m shaving my hair off to donate to the trust and have set up a Crowdfunding page for donations. It’s the least I can do to thank those who have helped me.

“It’s all about raising awareness for me now. Before this happened, I led a very busy life and never took time to look after myself. I can’t thank my surgeon and my optician enough for all they have done for me.”