Schoolboy helps save man's eyesight while on work experience – York Press


A SCHOOL pupil in North Yorkshire has been praised for helping to save a man’s eyesight while on work experience.
Ripon Grammar School student, Alexander Pickering, was on a placement at Specsavers in Ripon when holidaymaker John Morgan, who was suffering from blurred vision, called in.
Alexander, 15, ran a diagnostic scan which alerted the optician to something unusual in the retina and Mr Morgan was urgently referred to Harrogate Hospital – which quickly revealed a dangerous blockage in the main retinal vein, a condition which can lead to a permanent loss of vision.
“Thankfully, because I was diagnosed so early, there is a chance I can save my eye and maintain some vision,” said Mr Morgan.
Alexander, who has been trained to use the 3D optical diagnostic scanner, which can detect sight threatening eye conditions early, said: “I was really pleased that the pre-test I did picked up Mr Morgan’s eye condition.
“Thankfully, the optician was able to confirm the diagnosis and contacted the hospital to make an immediate appointment for him. If it had not been picked up, he could have gone blind.
“I was thrilled to play a small part in a much bigger team of people at Specsavers in helping to save someone’s sight.”
The Year 10 student will be taking his GCSEs next year and is aiming for a career in healthcare. He has been offered part-time work as a customer services assistant at the store in addition to his work experience placement, and so he will be trained in customer service as well as in the use of scanning equipment.
“The experience has helped improve my communication skills and self-confidence and also encouraged me to explore various career options,” the teenager added.
Mr Morgan, from Salford, who is keen to raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations following his shock diagnosis, will now need an injection in his eye every month for the next year.
“I may not fully get all of my vision back, however if undiagnosed, I could have completely gone blind in that eye,” he added.
Mr Morgan praised the whole Specsavers team for their speedy reaction and support.
He went on to say: “Alexander, who was on a work placement and conducted the pre-test, initially scanned my eye and flagged an issue with optician Caroline Sullivan immediately.
“I’m sure he will make a success of whatever career he chooses. He is a credit to his parents and his school.
“The team at Ripon Specsavers were fantastic and got me in for an appointment straight away and even organised my hospital appointment.
“I’d urge everyone to book in an eye exam, no matter how small they feel the problem may be.”
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