Dublin man rushes straight to A&E after Specsavers optometrist identifies dangerous symptoms

Specsavers Optometrist Patrick Dennehy with John O'Halloran

Clondalkin man John O’Halloran explains that Specsavers Liffey Valley optometrist, Patrick Dennehy, instantly recognised signs that he had suffered a stroke and advised him to attend A&E immediately. A routine appointment led to an incredible and shocking diagnosis for Clondalkin’s John O’Halloran after his optometrist, Patrick Dennehy, conducted a visual examination and revealed that the 75-year-olhad suffered a stroke. John immediately contacted his wife who collected him from the store and drove straight to Tallaght Hospital after Patrick advised him to attend the emergency department as a matter of urgency.

John said: “I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t go up straight away to A&E. Patrick gave me a letter to give to the doctors and what he wrote in the letter after seeing me was the exact diagnosis that the doctors in Tallaght [Hospital] made themselves. I was really impressed with the speed at which he made the diagnosis. I am so appreciative of the service.

The astonishing diagnosis was made at a routine appointment, making it all the more incredible for the Clondalkin native who never imagined he had a serious medical issue when he visited his local Specsavers in Liffey Valley, just minutes from his house.

John explained: “I had woken up one morning and the sight in my eye was a bit blurred, I had an appointment for my bi-annual check-up just after that, so I went along to Specsavers in Liffey Valley. [Patrick] told me straight away that the issue was not my eyesight, then he told me I had suffered a stroke. Despite my age, I have a very healthy lifestyle, so it was the last thing I expected to hear, but it shows you how important eye-tests are, not just for your eyes but for other things as well!

Patrick, who also works at the Specsavers Maynooth store, conducted a short examination which confirmed his fears that John had a medical emergency and needed urgent treatment.

Patrick said: “I knew there was something wrong, so I did a general check with my hands. There was an issue with both eyes. Straight away you know you aren’t doing an eye-test because something is going on that is more important right now and requires urgent care. I spoke with an ophthalmologist at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and told him my concerns, he confirmed that John had likely suffered a stroke and should go straight to A&E. It certainly isn’t something you expect to be telling someone at an eye-appointment but [John’s] reaction was quite calm; he was shocked more than anything.”

John, who will celebrate his 76th birthday in a few weeks, travelled straight from Specsavers Liffey Valley to Tallaght Hospital and was admitted immediately. He spent a number of days in hospital while he was treated for a mild stroke. He is continuing his recovery at home and has made huge strides since being released from hospital in February.

John said: “I am more or less back to normal. My vision is still a little impaired but everything else is fine. It was only a mild stroke, so I was very lucky in that sense. I would be highly complementary of Patrick, and I have told everyone what he did! I was very surprised he could tell so quickly what was wrong, but I am very thankful for it.

Conor Dewey, Retail Director at Specsavers Liffey Valley & Maynoothsaid: “We are so pleased that we could help John and that he has made such a good recovery. We would urge people to attend all necessary and routine eye-tests and hearing tests and assure them that COVID protocols are in place to ensure the continued safety of staff and customers.

Pictured: Specsavers Optometrist Patrick Dennehy with John O’Halloran

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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