‘It’s not worth thinking what might have happened’: Colin’s thanks to eagle-eyed trainee optician

Colin Davenport with Trudi Ognjenovic
Colin Davenport with Trudi Ognjenovic

A classic car enthusiast is back behind the wheel again after a trainee optician saved his life following an eye exam.

Colin Davenport, 73, was out house hunting with wife Heather and was alarmed when he temporarily lost the vision in his right eye.

His concern led him to book an appointment at Vision Express in Aylesbury – where he has been a patient for more than 10 years – and he was seen by then trainee optometrist Trudi Ognjenovic.

After a through examination she ruled out other triggers and was worried that a stroke could be causing Colin’s problems, so she sprung into action and immediately referred him to his GP and Stoke Mandeville eye hospital.

Her quick-thinking meant Colin was rushed through to see a stroke specialist, where it was discovered that the arteries supplying blood to his brain were 80% blocked. This had caused what is known as a transient ischaemic attack.

Colin, who lives in Wilstone, near Tring, said: “In essence, I was told that I’d had a mini stroke, which was the loss of vision I experienced, and that without treatment I had a 20% chance of having another one within the month.”

After an emergency operation to remove the deposits in his arteries, Colin has fully recovered from his ordeal and is back doing what he loves best – taking his 1954 MG for a spin.

Just last weekend he took part in the annual Kop Hill Climb vintage car rally in Princes Risborough.

The pensioner said: “I am eternally grateful to Trudi for what she has done.

“I had no idea an eye test could pick up symptoms of a possible stroke, and I’m so grateful to her for her expertise and professionalism. It’s not worth thinking about what might have happened.”

Trudi, who has since completed her training and moved branches to Bromley, said: “I didn’t want to scare Colin, but his symptoms – paired with no pain or migraine – told me that stroke was a real concern, so it was important to act quickly.

“Many people don’t realise the breadth of health conditions we can identify with an eye test, which is why it is so important to have a test at least every two years and to see an optometrist straight away if you experience any vision disturbances.

“We’re so pleased to have been able to play a role in Colin’s quick diagnosis.”