A police officer who lost his vision overnight was told by a GP to get an eye test, only to find out he had Leukaemia which had caused bleeding behind his eyes and turned his blood to ‘porridge’.
Ministry of Defence officer George Attwood, who serves with Wiltshire Police, was concerned after his vision went blurry during a night shift, preventing him from reading number plates despite standing right next to them.
The 29-year-old, who feared he might have contracted Covid-19, called his GP who advised him to go get an eye test.
By the time George attended his appointment at Specsavers, his vision was so blurry he struggled to make out even the first letters in the optician’s chart.
Further tests revealed Mr Attwood was suffering bleeds at the back of his eyes caused by Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).
George, from Dorset, said: “After the optician told me I’d had a bleed at the back of my eyes I was quite tearful.
“When my GP contacted me asking to go in for some blood tests I assumed it was a routine check-up, but never in a millions years did I consider it to be Leukaemia.
“When they said what it was it didn’t sink in whatsoever, I was in total disbelief, I didn't believe that this would happen to me.”
George was admitted to Bournemouth Hospital, when he immediately started a 10-day cycle of chemotherapy.
He told doctors he’d experienced breathlessness which they explained was caused by outstandingly low blood levels.
They also told him the bleeding behind his eyes was most likely caused by the thick consistency of his blood which had become like “porridge”.
George said: “It all started as a sore throat, which made it painful to eat or swallow, then I began to experience breathlessness.
“When I was at work and had to walk up a flight of stairs I would be out of breath at the top, which had never happened before.
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“I brushed the breathlessness and sweating I was experiencing off, and just put it down to the hot weather, it was a series of unfortunate events.
“I had two night shifts to work and on the Wednesday (July 29) I lost my vision, it went all blurry, to the point where I couldn’t read a number plate while stood next to it let alone 20 metres away. "
George, who initially thought he had Covid-19, took a test which came back negative.
GP's prescribed him a week-long course of penicillin, only to find his symptoms worsen.
Doctors then gave him a second course of antibiotics, but by this point his body had started to sweat heavily.
Acute Leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, is aggressive and progresses quite quickly, requiring immediate treatment.
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George said although his eyesight improved after undergoing chemotherapy, the treatment took a toll on his body.
Despite the prospect of a further three rounds of Chemo, George set up a G oFundMe page to raise money for the ward he's being treated on, after noticing some of the fitness equipment was outdated.
He said: "I really want to give back to the ward and the staff because they've been absolutely amazing.
"I noticed some of the fitness equipment was outdated and they have a box full of arts and crafts to give people on the ward,
"I started using some of the stuff and I thought it was a great idea.
"I set up a GoFundMe page for the ward so I could focus on it between treatment and also because I also getting loads of fundraising offers from people.
George, who has set of goal of fundraising £5,000 for the ward, has already raised £2,400.
You can donate to George's page here.
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