Epworth Geelong midwife calls for affordable state of the art MRI.

Epworth Geelong clinical midwife specialist Jo Alston owes her vision to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a remarkable team of medical professionals.

Jo was working in the birthing suite at University Hospital, Geelong, in late 2016 when her left eye suddenly became blurry and she lost vision. An MRI detected a 2cm brain tumour that was putting pressure on her optic nerve.

Epworth Geelong neurosurgeon Nick Hall operated within days of seeing Jo in January last year, and she has regained full sight with the exception of some very fine colour vision loss.

Jo has undergone six MRIs to date at Epworth Medical Imaging (EMI) Geelong and elsewhere, and has observed the difference in clarity provided by the SIGNA Architect MRI scanner at EMI, which she credits with detecting a small amount of residual tumour. Had it gone undetected, it would have likely returned with potentially catastrophic consequences. She will undergo targeted radiation treatment next month to treat the residual disease.

Jo owes her vision to MRI and a remarkable team of Epworth medical professionals who will be overseeing her recovery, including Nick Hall and ophthalmologist Merv Ferdinands. Neurologist Paul Talman, who consults at Epworth Geelong, was involved in Jo’s early diagnosis and neurosurgeon James King was the assistant surgeon.

Jo credits rapid diagnosis and intervention with saving her vision, and has thrown her support behind Epworth Geelong’s application to the Federal Government for one of 30 MRI licences. Without Medicare eligibility for the unit, patients must pay full fees or travel offsite for essential diagnostic services. Jo is adamant that patients should not have to compromise on health outcomes based on affordability and urges Victorians to support fairer access to subsidised MRI in Greater Geelong here.

Read Jo’s full story in the Geelong Advertiser here.