A mother has spoken of her shock after a routine visit to the optician uncovered a tumour in her 13-year-old daughter’s head.
Macie Hallitt is now in hospital waiting for chemotherapy treatment – and as the tumour was spotted so quickly by Specsavers staff, there are hopes the treatment will be successful.
Mum Maxine said the problem was spotted when Macie underwent the routine optical scan. “They did that three times because they thought there must be an error on the screen – but obviously not.
“And then she could not read the chart of letters.
“Macie said she could see the ‘A’, the biggest letter – and when she was asked to read the next line, she said there was nothing there.
“What is amazing is that Macie herself had not realised her eyesight had deteriorated so much.
“The hospital wanted to watch its growth while waiting for genetic testing for Neurofibromatosis Type 1 to come back, which is the leading cause of gliomas and it could mean Macie has further tumours appear in other parts of her body as she gets older.
“But after reviewing the tests, her consultant called and said there had been a rapid deterioration in her eyesight, so the ‘watch and wait’ approach was no longer an option.
“We are past that now.
“Her condition has left her with no peripheral vision, reduced colour vision and significant central loss in both eyes. The optic nerves are compressed and there is inflammation behind them.
“The oncologist said they were looking at chemotherapy – they can’t biopsy and can’t operate as it is in a part of the brain that would cause blindness. Chemotherapy is the only option.
“It has been a dreadful time for the family – we haven’t really had much chance to adjust to it.”
Maxine and her husband are now sleeping in the living room to give Macie their bedroom, which has been redecorated.
“People have been so nice and left such wonderful messages.
“I’m not normally one to ask for help or charity, but Macie was all for it, so we did it. Every hospital trip costs money in fuel and parking.”