When Tricia Swanstrom of the Wheaton Public Library met Nisha Gupta, M.D., at a Wheaton Chamber of Commerce event, a friendship was born. Neither could have known that this “Chamber Connection” would make such a difference in both their lives.
Tricia, the business and career specialist at the library, had begun to develop blurred vision. After meeting at a Women in Business Committee meeting of the Wheaton Chamber, Tricia learned that Nisha is an ophthalmologist and owner of The Gupta Eye Center at 310 S. County Farm Road in Wheaton.
“Nisha was scheduled to do a program for Ignite,” Tricia said. [Ignite is a program hosted by the Wheaton Public Library to support people with their careers, business and lifelong learning.] “She came in as a speaker for the program, and that’s where I really got to know her.”
Tricia went to see Nisha at her clinic in June 2023 because she was experiencing a loss of sight. “She called me back later in the month to run some additional testing and that’s when she told me I may have a tumor affecting my sight,” Tricia said.
Nisha said that when she initially saw Tricia, there was nothing wrong with the exam, but Tricia’s vision didn’t fit what Nisha was seeing.
“I consulted a colleague to make sure I did all the pertinent tests to figure out what was going on,” Nisha said. “The tests showed that Tricia had peripheral vision loss and some damage to the optic nerve, which is usually due to a neurological issue.” Once those findings were established, they discussed the need for an MRI to look for a tumor.
Hearing the word “tumor” was a huge blow to Tricia. “I went home and cried. Then, I had an MRI in September that confirmed Nisha’s suspicions. We found out it was benign, thank God, but that it would require surgery.” Tricia was referred to Dr. Osaama Khan, a neurosurgeon who specializes in neurosurgical oncology at Northwestern Medicine, and things moved quickly from there.
“I didn’t realize what an ordeal it would be for me,” Tricia said. “The surgery lasted just over 12 hours. The tumor was bigger than expected and it was wrapped not only around my optic nerve but had started to wrap around my carotid artery as well,” she said. Dr. Khan was able to remove the entire tumor and Tricia spent 15 days in the hospital. Amazingly, she was back to work in about a month.
“Meeting Nisha through my job and being a part of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce saved my life. I will forever be grateful,” Tricia said. Dr. Gupta enthusiastically agreed.
“Tricia has become a great friend of mine, and I feel privileged to be a part of her medical team. I am so glad that she has an answer for the cause of her blurry vision and am happy she has been healing well from her surgery!”
The two ladies generously agreed to share their story as a “Wheaton Chamber Connection.” And while not all of our Chamber Connections are this dramatic, we’re so happy Tricia and Nisha met through our Women in Business Committee.
If you have a “Chamber Connection” story to share, whether it’s a new friendship, a new client or finding out about a needed resource through someone you met through the Wheaton Chamber, please let us know. Contact Vickie Austin at email@example.com.