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Going away for that weekend could have left me blind

When Mark Hegan turned 60, he became an extra on Game of Thrones. He also developed a serious condition no-one knew about – until he came to Randox Health.

When I turned 60 I decided to go for a health check, just to get checked out. It was the first time I’d done anything like this. I felt fine, and had no real concerns apart from maybe losing a bit of weight but I thought I should start to keep an eye on my health. To be honest, it was either a weekend away or this and I’ve never been happier about a decision!

It picked up unusually low levels of a protein in my prostate gland, and a poorly functioning thyroid. This combination is unusual and the clinic arranged for me to have further tests which showed my testosterone levels were extremely low as well. The Randox Health GP insisted that we investigate it and helped me to book an MRI scan.

It found a walnut-sized pituitary tumour, 1mm away from my optic nerve. I had no symptoms – no headaches, no pain, no visual problems – there were no warning signs. It is frightening that I was so close to going blind, without even knowing it; and it’s strange to think that something as deceptively simple as a blood test saved my sight.

It had a big impact on my life, and with some extra lifestyle changes I’ve made I have the energy of someone half my age. I really feel like I have been given a second chance.

We wouldn’t think twice about getting our cars checked out with the MOT every year – why should we think any differently about our bodies?

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