A teenager has told how a tumour in her head gave her ‘wonky eyes’ – but she blamed it on party pre-drinks.
Megan Barker, 19, was Facetiming her boyfriend Luke Mayes in the taxi on the way to her work Christmas party when he spotted her “uneven” eyes.
But travel agent Megan blamed it on having a few drinks – until family noticed her left eye was drooping three weeks later.
Fearing she was allergic to her false eyelashes or had an infection, she consulted medics, and tests eventually revealed a benign tumour in her sinus.
Last month surgeons sawed open her skull and peeled back her FACE to remove the mass which had been crushing her eye socket.
Brave Megan, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, who is now in recovery said: “My boyfriend said to me ‘there’s something wrong with your eyes’ and he said they weren’ even.
“I had been drinking so I just put it down to that. Your eyes can change when you drink.
“But I was wrong – it was something much more serious.
“It all happened so fast that I didn’t really have a chance to think about it.
“At first I thought it was an eye infection, but to go from that to a benign tumour was a lot to take in.”
Megan’s boyfriend spotted that her left eye was a different shape while they chatted via their phones on December 6.
But it wasn’t until a family party on Christmas Day that she realised there was something more seriously wrong.
“There was eight of us there and every person had asked what was wrong with my eye,” she said.
“This is when I think I first started realising it wasn’t just me that was noticing the change in it.”
She tried to book an appointment with opticians, who couldn’t see her until after the New Year, so she visited St Marys Hospital on December 28, for CT scans and X-rays.
The tests revealed a mass pressing on her left eye socket and she was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.
At first medics thought they could ‘drain’ the mass via a cut in her forehead, but doctors decided it was too big, and she underwent a Bifrontal Craniotomy on February 20.
“It was really scary and stressful but they said because it was affecting my vision, they couldn’t just leave it,” she said.
“They shaved off a line of my hair and cut my skull 1cm wide from ear to ear.
“They pulled my skin from my face down, cut the top part of my skull out, reconstructed the socket, took the mass and the sinus out, and then put the skull bac together with pins.
“Two days after the operation my face swelled up and that was the worst day.
“I knew it was going to happen and my eyes swelled fully shut for a while, and it was horrible.”
After three days in hospital Megan was allowed home, and is now awaiting tests results on the mass – suspected to be a mass of calcium.
“The NHS were incredible,” she said.
“It’s crazy when you think how it all started, but now it’s all over I want to raise some awareness.
“When it happened to me I searched online for symptoms, and also then pictures of what I would look like and couldn’t find anything, so I wanted to show people.”