CAMERON Brannagan says he will never be able to repay the doctor who saved his eyesight almost three and a half years ago.

The Oxford United midfielder was hospitalised with a rare inflammation behind his right eye in October 2020, leading to an almost three-month absence from playing.

Brannagan first felt something was wrong on October 13, the same day United’s Sky Bet League One clash at home to Crewe Alexandra was called off after the visitors notified the Football League they were unable to fulfil the fixture due to Covid-19.

The U’s had an in-house game at the Kassam Stadium, with Brannagan coming off after 20 minutes had been played.

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Hours of tests at the John Radcliffe Hospital two days later struggled to find an explanation for Brannagan’s blurred vision, but that evening he received an urgent call to return to the Oxford Eye Hospital the following day.

It was then that he saw specialist Dr Sri Sharma, who put off holiday to save Brannagan’s right eye.

The Liverpool academy graduate didn’t require surgery, and was put on a course of steroids to treat the inflammation, while he initially had to then train away from his United teammates.

Brannagan then returned to action on January 2, as a substitute in a 5-1 win at Burton Albion.

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Reflecting on the whole experience after helping the U’s earn promotion to the Championship last month, Brannagan hailed Dr Sharma for the leading role she played in saving his eyesight.

Brannagan said: “I can’t really thank her to be honest, and I never will be able to.

“It’s the same with the club and every single one of the people that helped me at that time.

“I was probably 24 hours away from never being able to see my family again, so never mind playing football.

“There were bigger things in life than that at the time, and I’m here today, and I can’t really put into words how I feel.

“I can’t thank Dr Sharma enough. I owe her my life to be honest. She saved my life and I can never repay her for what she did.”

Brannagan scored 13 goals, and grabbed a further 11 assists, across all competitions this season, as he once again proved to be the heartbeat of the United side.

He played in 51 of the club’s 58 matches, while his goals came in key moments throughout the season, such as the late equalising penalty at home to Wycombe Wanderers in October.

The 28-year-old also equalised from the spot at home against Stevenage in April, backing that up with further penalties at Exeter City on the final day of the regular season, and at Peterborough United in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals.