Micayla Clark, 11, from Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, was shopping for a new pair of frames last month when she opted to take a free eye exam, during which the optometrist noticed swelling behind the eyes.
Micayla was immediately referred to a specialist and after a slew of tests in hospital, doctors confirmed Micayla had an eight-centimetre cyst pressing on her brain that had likely been growing since birth.
Mother Kim said: “It could have been fatal. I could have lost my little girl.
“We were so worried and they didn’t tell us anything because they didn’t want us to worry before we had to.
“The whole experience brought up a lot of anxiety because my son Bradley had passed away in the same hospital ward six years earlier.”
In 1995, when Bradley was just eight years old, he sustained a head injury during a football match.
Two weeks later, during an underwater breath-holding contest at a family pool party, he suffered severe brain damage as the result of a delayed concussion.
It took paramedics 8 1/2 minutes to resuscitate Bradley, who subsequently spent three weeks in a coma in hospital. For the next 11 years, Bradley was wheelchair-bound and severely disabled until pneumonia took him.
Mrs Clark said: “It was awful and horrific. I didn’t think Bradley would die.
“He was the most amazing boy. He spoke through his eyes. “I always held out hope that one day he would speak to me and be normal again.