Grandad Derek Day was glad he went to Specsavers – after his optician diagnosed blood pressure so high he should have been dead.
The 72-year-old, from Solihull, was rushed to Birmingham’s City Hospital after eye expert Raj Sandhu spotted warning signs during a routine appointment.
And medics were astonished when later tests gave a blood pressure reading of 254 – way above the average of around 150.
The result was so high that staff at the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre, based at the hospital, thought their machine was faulty, only for a second reading to return identical statistics.
Dad-of-three Derek said: “At first they thought the machine had broken, so they tried again.
“When they got the same reading, they told me I should have been dead.
“My pressure was that high they were surprised I was still standing. It was such a shock – I’d never had any health problems before.
“I have no doubt that Raj saved my life.”
Derek was put on tablets to help lower his blood pressure and has been fine ever since.
His problems started in October, when he was hit by recurring headaches and thought his glasses needed to be changed.
He saw Raj at Specsavers’ Yardley branch. The optician explained: “Mr Day’s pressure tests were normal and his prescription hadn’t changed, but I wasn’t happy with how he was.
“His body language was wrong and the constant headaches were a concern. I also spotted two small splinter haemorrhages near his optic nerve at the back of his eye.”
Raj called the eye centre and staff agreed to see Derek immediately.
Derek added: “Without that visit and their prompt action I would have almost certainly suffered a stroke and could well have died.
“It’s hard to believe an eye examination can pick these things up. I’m now on tablets and I’ve been fine ever since.
“I’m a really chilled out person and don’t get stressed about anything, so hopefully that helped me.”