Ga. OD saves patient at risk for stroke

November 29, 2011

Dr. Washington

Georgia practitioner Andrea Washington, O.D., has one very thankful patient.

While performing a dilated eye exam on Craig Marshall, Dr. Washington discovered the patient was at risk of having a stroke.

Marshall had diabetes and was not fully compliant. Dr. Washington found a Hollenhorst plaque in his left eye and also took his blood pressure, which was elevated.

“I told him he needed to see his primary care physician to have his carotid arteries evaluated,” Dr. Washington said. “They did the evaluation and found the carotid artery on the left was severely stenosed. He ended up having surgery and coming back to our office. He said, ‘You saved my life.’”

Dr. Washington is an independent doctor in a Wal-Mart Vision Center in Covington, Ga. Marshall was so grateful he sent a letter to Wal-Mart stating how impressed he was with the care and tests he received.

“He was very appreciative because he said he wouldn’t have seen his granddaughter if we hadn’t caught this,” Dr. Washington said. “It’s humbling to see things we do every day make such a difference.”

Marshall was referred to Dr. Washington by his wife, who is in the medical field.

“He was tough to get in because he doesn’t like to go to doctors,” said Dr. Washington. “And he thought he had to go to an ophthalmologist, but we finally got him in.”

Marshall is now a huge advocate of Dr. Washington and optometry.

Dr. Washington’s patient Craig Marshall is shown with his granddaughter, Allie Grace. Dr. Washington noticed signals that Marshall was at risk for stroke and referred him to his primary care physician. Marshall said if it wasn’t for the care of Dr. Washington, he would not have made it to see his granddaughter.

“He wants to do a billboard,” said Dr. Washington.

Helping patients is why Dr. Washington goes to work every day.

“As a kid I had horrible headaches,” she said. ”I went to neurologists who all said I was fine, but then I went to an optometrist who said I needed glasses. Then I loved going to the eye doctor. I loved the ‘one or two.’ I love helping people see. I also love diagnosing medical symptoms and the medical and refractive aspect as a whole.”

“Although I am in a retail setting, I am definitely embracing the ‘medical model,’” Dr. Washington said. “I have recently equipped my office with a Humphrey Visual Field, an OCT (optical coherence tomography) and a retinal camera with anterior segment capabilities.  This equipment will definitely help me to offer my patients a better quality of care.”

Overall, Marshall’s case unquestionably stands out to Dr. Washington.

“I’ve had other cases where I diagnosed things they didn’t know they had, but nothing this life-changing,” she said. “I go to work every day and help people see, and then I found someone at risk for a stroke. I’m so glad I helped him.”

To read local coverage of Dr. Washington and Marshall’s story, visit http://www.covnews.com/section/13/article/22749/.

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