FOLLOWING a routine eye exam, a woman suffered four epileptic seizures and was saved thanks to the quick-thinking actions of her opticians team.

Jacqueline Rice, 56, was cared for by optometrist Paula Conway and optical assistant Charlotte Wilson, who work for York Specsavers home visits team, after they administered their latest first aid training at her home in Harrogate.

Jacqueline and the York team are looking to raise awareness on the home patient care available for those in need and stress the importance of vital first aid training.

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Jacqueline relies on the support of remote care services such as Specsavers Home Visits, as brain surgery three years ago following a hearing infection caused three abscesses on her brain, leaving her severely epileptic.

Optometrist Paula Conway, who helped Jacqueline said: “I arrived at Jacqueline’s house with my colleague and proceeded to undergo a routine eye examination.

“On completion of the exam Jacqueline began feeling unwell and we quickly noticed that she had taken a turn for the worst as she began to rock back and forth in her chair with her eyes closed.

“Jacqueline hit her head on the wall behind her, so I asked my colleague Charlotte to get a pillow from the bed to support her head. Thankfully we had received first aid training from Specsavers earlier in the week, which allowed us to recognise the need to remove any objects surrounding her which may cause injury.”

Jacqueline’s epilepsy means that she is unable to move out of her bed and after recognising that Jacqueline was experiencing a seizure, the team alerted her partner Louise.

With the seizure lasting longer than five minutes the team understood the urgency and called an ambulance whilst carefully rolling Jacqueline onto a duvet on the floor and placing her in the recovery position until the services arrived.

Paula said: “We stayed on the phone until the ambulance arrived and Charlotte continued to reassure Jacqueline’s partner.

“The paramedics couldn’t believe how our recent training by St John’s Ambulance instructor Karl Whittaker had allowed us to stay calm, act on our knowledge and handle this emergency situation.

“Both myself and my partner had agreed that whilst we were shook up, our training was invaluable in managing a real life emergency.”

Following the incident, Charlotte made regular check ins with Jacqueline following her dismissal from Harrogate Hospital.

Talking on her experience Jaqueline said: “I want to thank the team at Specsavers for helping me on the day and checking in with me after the incident.

“Following my surgery three years ago, I now suffer from memory loss and the only memory I have from this day was getting my eye exam and waking up three days later.

“I tend to stay in the house these days at it is much safer for me if I have a seizure and fall, so these services are invaluable to me.

“I want to raise awareness on the benefits of first aid as I feel the team truly saved my life and things could have been very different if they were not there.”

Charlotte visited Jacqueline and partner Louise at their home days after she was released from hospital to ensure both were okay and drop off Jacqueline’s glasses from the exam that took place prior to the incident. Charlotte and her team were greeted with two bouquets of flowers as a thank you their heroic efforts.