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Sudbury man's eyesight saved after receiving emergency appointment at opticians during coronavirus lockdown




A Sudbury man, who almost lost his sight due to a serious eye condition, has voiced his gratitude to his local opticians for helping him receive urgent treatment amid the coronavirus crisis.

Fruit farmer Malcolm Stone contacted Specsavers on Market Hill after the sight in his left eye deteriorated over the course of a few days, leaving him with just a small rectangular window of blurry vision.

The 59-year-old underwent a full eye test in-store with ophthalmic director Amar Phakey that same day, revealing potential signs of a detached retina – a condition with a high risk of causing permanent sight loss.

Malcolm Stone, 59, of Sudbury, received emergency surgery after being diagnosed with a detached retina. Contributed picture. (34429313)
Malcolm Stone, 59, of Sudbury, received emergency surgery after being diagnosed with a detached retina. Contributed picture. (34429313)

He was booked in for an appointment at Colchester Hospital the following day, which confirmed the diagnosis, and received corrective retinoplasty surgery the day after.

“I can’t thank Amar and the team enough,” Malcolm said. “I’m not sure I would’ve received treatment so quickly without their help.

“I didn’t want to bother A&E with the current crisis going on, but Specsavers was able to see me and I felt safe, secure and clean in-store. It’s an excellent service.

“My eyesight might not return to the same quality, but I just feel grateful for whatever I recover, as it could’ve been lost entirely.”

Specsavers in Sudbury has confirmed that, while it is closed for routine tests, it remains open for essential care, as well as support for local key workers.

Mr Phakey added: “The reason we are open for urgent and essential care is for customers like Malcolm. Access to professional eye care services remains vital throughout the lockdown, and many would be at risk without it, particularly while the NHS is under so much stress.”