Rebecca Needham, 32, from Leicester was due to get married in nine weeks’ time when she woke one night and couldn’t see.
Her vision soon cleared, but she confided in a work colleague about her symptoms, who urged her to have an eye test.
“I’m a really laid back person, so I wasn’t worried,” Rebecca said. “But I went along to my local Boots to get checked out to put my mind at ease.
“I’d been plagued with migraines and headaches for a while, and I felt groggy even after a decent nights’ sleep. But it didn’t concern me that much.”
The optometrist took photos of Rebecca’s retinas and immediately referred her to hospital, saying she should take her fiancé, Dave, 34, with her.
There, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour 5-6cms in diameter.
“Doctors said it had been growing away for two years,” Rebecca said. “All of the symptoms - the disturbed vision, headaches, grogginess - had been down to the tumour.”
The teaching assistant was rushed by ambulance to Nottingham Queen’s Medical Centre, where the next day she endured a four and a half hour operation.
“Doctors told me they had got it all out but when I looked in a mirror for the first time afterwards I gasped in horror,” Rebecca said. “My head had been sliced from back to front and a huge row of staples held the wound together.
“I looked like an alien and worried I wouldn’t be well enough to get married.”
Amazingly, Rebecca was home within three days.
And just a few weeks later, on 12 April this year, she married Dave.
“My hairdresser used extensions to cover my patchwork scalp,” she said. “At the reception, all my friends and family were really emotional.
"They kept saying, ‘We can’t believe what you’ve been through.’ I can’t either. It’s hard to imagine that when we’d got engaged eight months earlier in Egypt the tumour was already there.”
Now Rebecca wants other people who might be experiencing similar symptoms to take heed.
She said: “If I hadn’t been for the eye test, the tumour could’ve killed me. I’d urge everyone to get checked out. I wasn’t aware all the things an eye test can show.
‘It saved my life.’
Boots is the only high street optician to offer digital retinal photography with every single eye health check as standard and at no extra cost. A Boots eye health check costs £10. You can find out more online: www.boots.com/en/Opticians/Eye-Health