Leukaemia patient Drew Laird thanks Hackney optician for saving his life

Drew Laird with optometrist Priya Rajbhandary

Drew Laird with optometrist Priya Rajbhandary - Credit: Specsavers

A man has thanked the optician who saved his life, after an eye test led to a diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Drew Laird went to Specsavers in Mare Street for an eye test after his sight began to deteriorate earlier this year.

Optometrist Priya Rajbhandary noticed he had an abnormal retinal haemorrhage, and he was diagnosed with the condition in June after further checks at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Since then Drew has launched his own YouTube channel, Fitness 40 and Beyond, which documents his journey back from diagnosis to fitness and wellbeing, alongside living with cancer. He to inspire others living with serious illnesses through his journey.

He said: “By focusing on regaining my fitness I want to inspire others and let them know not to give up because of an illness. It is possible to keep going and live a normal everyday life in the face of adversity.

“I want to thank Priya and the team for saving my life. What they have done for me is something I will be eternally grateful for.”

Store manager Fizan Khan said: ‘It is unusual for an eye test to reveal a serious illness, but it shows why getting regular sight checks is so important. By taking a close look at the back of the eye, we can detect conditions which a GP might not always be able to spot.

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“So whether you have symptoms or not, you should be getting an eye test at least every two years.”