Policeman who wore glasses for 20 years discovers his bad eyesight was actually caused by a BRAIN TUMOUR
Father-of-one Chris Smith, 35, had worn glasses since the age of 12Two years ago he began suffering from headaches and mood swingsHe was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour which he'd had for 20 yearsAfter surgery to remove the tumour he has 20:20 vision
and Mr Smith has made a full recovery” class=”blkBorder” />
Amazing recovery: Chris Smith, who wore glasses for 20 years now has 20:20 vision after surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumour from his brain, allowing him more time with wife Samantha and baby Freddie, born in November 2012
A policeman who wore glasses for 20 years now has 20:20 vision after surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumour from his brain.
Chris Smith, 35, had worn glasses since the age of 12, but is now able to see perfectly.
The father-of-one had only just returned from honeymoon with his wife Samantha in 2011 when he began suffering headaches.
had been to Jamaica and I had put them down to too many cocktails,’ said Mr Smith, from Catterall near
‘I was getting dizzy
and bad-tempered but I thought I was just having a bad few weeks after
lying on a beach for a fortnight,' he said.
But when he fell down the stairs at work, he realised something was seriously wrong.
A CT scan uncovered a tumour in his brain which it is believed he had had for more than two decades.
Doctors were forced to perform an immediate craniotomy to cut open Mr Smith’s skull and remove the non-cancerous tumour, which was pushing down on his brain.
When he woke up after the operation, he suddenly realised he could see.
He said: ‘It was amazing. I was
sitting in the hospital without my glasses on and all of a sudden I
realised I could see without them on.
went for a walk around and tried to look at things I couldn't see
without them before, and everything was clear. It was amazing.
went to see an optician who confirmed I didn't need them any longer. My
eyes are completely different to how they were before.’
Without treatment, the growth would
have put further pressure on the brain, and could have caused fits or
permanent brain damage.
Smith, 30, said: ‘It was a very scary time for us. We'd only just got
married and they started talking about the possibility of Chris being
left paralysed or without his memory.
‘The hospital said they could deal with it very easily, but we were terrified something would go wrong.’
Chris Smith (pictured with his wife, Samantha, and baby Freddie) has 20:20 vision after surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumour from his brain
Symptoms: Mr Smith, pictured left recovering, began suffering headaches after his honeymoon in 2011. Doctors later diagnosed him with a benign brain tumour, pictured right
This then had to be drained regularly following his operation to make sure a build-up of fluid didn't occur.
Mr Smith said: ‘My head swelled up massively. I looked like Frankenstein.
‘It was the most horrendous thing I have ever seen.’
and Mrs Smith spent Christmas and New Year in hospital while he
recovered from surgery before he was given a three-month
course of radiotherapy to blast any further cells that could have become
During his treatment Mr Smith's wife, Samantha, discovered that she was expecting their first child
He had surgery to remove the non-cancerous tumour, after which he discovered he no longer needed to wear glasses
Double blow: Chris Smith, pictured above in hospital, was told he and his wife Samantha may not be able to have children following the radiation treatment and six-centimetre incision in his head
Surgeons had to cut out a four by six centimetre hole into Mr Smith’s head in order to remove the tumour.
This, however, meant a further blow for the couple, who were told that due to the radiation exposure on Mr Smith’s pituitary gland, it was very unlikely they would be able to have children.
‘We were absolutely devastated,’ Mrs Smith said. ‘Although we hadn't really planned having children, we always knew it was something we wanted to do eventually.
‘It seemed like our whole world was falling apart in just a matter of weeks.’
But just weeks later, the couple discovered they were expecting their first child, and Mrs Smith gave birth to Freddie in November 2012.
‘We were over the moon,’ said Samantha. ‘It was the most amazing end to the worst year of our lives especially as we had been told it was unlikely we would be able to have children.
‘Chris was back to normal so it was the icing on the cake.’
Full of energy: Chris Smith is fitter and faster than ever before now that the golf ball-sized growth, which was pushing down on his brain, has been dislodged
Fitter than ever: Chris Smith says he feels better than ever before following the operation last year
Mr Smith says he is also fitter and healthier than ever before having had the growth, which was pushing down on his brain, removed.
The father-of-one, who had his
life-saving operation in December 2011, said: ‘I have got more energy
than I had even as a 20-year-old.
‘I was always at the top of my game – I was able to run marathons and keep up with criminals.
‘But, after having the tumour removed, I can run faster, jump higher and my strength and energy levels have massively improved.
His wife Samantha added: ‘He's like a new man now.
He's just got bags of energy. I had always known him to be so bubbly and
jubilant that when he started becoming grumpy and tired, I knew he
Mr Smith is now training for the London Marathon on April 21.
He will be raising money for the research team of Consultant Marcia Elizabeth Donaldson-Hugh at Royal Preston Hospital Neurology Ward where he was treated.
‘I couldn't have asked for a better consultant,’ said Chris. ‘She was calm and confident the whole way through my treatment, and we are so grateful to her for saving my life.’
To sponsor Mr Smith visit www.gofundme.com/29xte8
HOW DO BRAIN TUMOURS AFFECT VISION
Brain tumours can affect the optic nerve itself or the cranial nerves that control eye movement.
Tumours in different parts of the brain affect different nerves and often affect several nerves at once. Which nerves they affect determine what the symptoms will be.
Tumours in the pituitary gland – the pea-sized gland at the base of the skull which secretes hormones – can cause the loss of lateral vision in both eyes and can cause blindness if left untreated.
There are four lobes in the brain and a lesion in the temporal lobe – the part of the brain responsible for speech, movement, personality, behaviour, reasoning and judgement – can cause loss of vision in one quarter of the visual field.
Tumours in the occipital lobe – the part of the brain that processes vision – can cause the area of the brain responsible for interpretation of visual signals to malfunction, resulting in blindness.