A TRIP to the opticians proved to be a life saver for a Petts Wood man who had thought he just needed glasses.
Father-of-one Chris Pearman noticed one Sunday afternoon that his right eye was blurred and, putting it down to old age, visited Steven Harris Opticians in Crofton Road, Locksbottom, the following day.
But the optician sent him to the accident and emergency department at Queen Mary’s Hospital telling him he needed urgent medical attention.
Tests revealed the 37-year-old had dangerously high blood pressure and had to stay at the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, for four days.
He has since undergone 12 months of treatment for the condition at Kings College Hospital.
A CT scan revealed he had a tumour on his pancreas meaning he underwent a long operation to remove it after being told there was an 80 per cent chance it was cancerous.
Mr Pearman, of Oxhawth Crescent, eventually got the all clear at the end of last year and has now returned to work as a project manager for a television company.
He said: "Without the prompt attention of Steven Harris I don’t think I’d be here today.
"There is no doubt Steven’s actions saved my life.
"My blood pressure was very high and I think something bad would have happened, maybe a stroke or something.
"It was 250 over 150 which is far too high.
"The tumour could have just kept growing and growing as well."
Steven Harris, from Tunbridge Wells, said: "When he came to see me he told me he had some tingling in his fingers and I thought that was a bit suspicious, so I sent him straight to the hospital.
"A month later I bumped into him in the bank and he told me he had been in hospital having tests for a week.
"He had blocked arteries in his kidneys, which causes high blood pressure.
"And while they were testing for this they found the tumour on his pancreas.
"There a very few symptoms for pancreatic cancer - so just by chance they had saved his life."
The 68-year-old added: "I hope this story will show people what we do - we are not just there to sell glasses."