"In May 2019 I went to a new optician to have my yearly sight check with no idea that something might be wrong but there was.
They detected Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)something I had never heard of before. On the way home the realisation of what this meant hit me hard and I became an emotional wreck. How could I manage my life without my sight?
Fortunately for me, Richard Bowman, the Community Sight Loss Advisor for Devon in Sight, was on the other end of my phone and his calm voice telling me he completely understood how I felt, steadied and comforted me.
I told him about the things I love - my books, watching films, my garden and my home. I asked him how could I continue to do these things if I couldn’t see.
So an appointment was made for me to visit Richard at Devon in Sight’s Head Office outside Exeter.
During my time with him, he showed me how to access audio books and how to adapt my iPad to my new needs. He also showed me Daily Living Aids that I could use later on. He told me that sight loss is like a bereavement with all its different emotional levels so I am prepared for that.
What made all of this so inspiring was the fact that Richard has severe sight loss and has a ‘lived experience’ over many years.
Unlike many people with advanced Macular Disease, I am at the beginning of my journey. It is not something I want to undertake and I feel very fearful about the future but the amount of help and support I have already received helps.
Community Support Worker Tracey Agutter, has put me in touch with many different community groups so I am looking forward to meeting them and hearing about their experiences.
In conclusion, I must thank Devon in Sight for the incredible support I have received since I first picked up my phone and for all the dedicated work you do”