A gastric band helped a woman lose close to seven stone and amazingly saved her eyesight.
When Georgina Jarvis went to her opticians complaining of blurry vision, she was surprised to be sent straight to Birmingham Eye Hospital for a series of tests.
She was even more surprised when doctors there told her she needed to quickly lose a large amount of weight, or risk losing her sight completely.
The 33-year-old had a gastric band fitted and, after shedding well over a third of her body weight, was given the all clear by the doctors.
"Now, over a year on from my operation in March 2018 I weigh 10st 9 and am a size 8-10," the formerly 17.1-stone woman said.
"I can wear clothes I never dreamed of wearing. But the figure I now have is not the reason I did this. I went for the op to save my sight."
Georgina Jarvis's medical issues began when she started suffering from earache, a whooshing in her ears and headaches .
To make matters worse she felt incredibly tired and often struggled to speak.
She visited her GP who diagnosed labyrinthitis, an ear infeciton.
Two years later in 2015 Georgina woke up and "everything felt funny".
"I had that whooshing sound but also my eyesight in my left eye was fuzzy and blurred," she said.
"I went to my GP. He looked at me and simply said: ‘It sounds like a mental health issue.’
"I couldn’t believe it. I had no depression and was happy. I hadn’t even mentioned any mental health issues. Still, the doctor sent me home."
Georgina tried to carry on with her desk job at a homeless shelter where long, 70-hour weeks and a bad diet had lead her to put on weight.
Soon a daily diet of takeaways saw her reach 17st 1oz and a size 16-18.
After she failed to say the word 'fork' during an intense spell of tiredness and dizziness, Georgina went back to the GP who again diagnosed mental health problems.
Frustrated, Georgina took a trip to the opticians where she was told to go to hospital.
"I got a taxi straight to Birmingham Eye Hospital where I had every test going – MRI, an MRV scan – a scan of the veins," she continued.
"Finally a consultant sat me down. ‘You have idiopathic intracranial hypertension,’ he said."
The condition meant she had a build-up of fluid around the brain, although the doctors did not know the cause.
The liquid had been putting excess pressure around her eye which had caused the fuzzy vision.
After delivering the terrifying news that she could loose her sight, the medic told Georgina that people in similar situations to her had banished the condition by shedding the pounds – although, again, doctors didn't know why.
Georgina was put on a two-year waiting list for an NHS gastric band operation, but decided to fork out £10,500 for private surgery as fears for her sight grew.
She said: "At home I had to eat liquids, then mushed baby-style food, then soft foods like pureed potato and white fish, then finally very small meals. It was like returning to infancy.
"The weight fell off. But in my head I was still 17 stone. It was hard to catch up. Until one day I caught sight of myself in a supermarket mirror and gasped.
"Was that me? I was so slim I couldn’t recognise myself."
As well as losing close to seven stone, Georgina received the good news about her eyesight she had been hoping for.
"I saw my consultant who told me I am in remission from intracranial hypertension," she said.
"My sight was saved by my gastric bypass op. Looking good is a by-product of all this. The main thing is I can see and won’t go blind.
"I am so grateful. It was worth every penny." To find out more about Georgina's story, click here.
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