Blind man 'left on his own' after losing sight

A man who lost his sight as a teenager says he felt "left on his own" and that his life was "over" after being registered blind.

Harvey Dyer, from Gloucester, said he had to "find life out" by himself after his sight slowly deteriorated at the age of 17 due to optical neuropathy.

Mr Dyer, 23, has now set up a support group for other people who are blind or visually impaired so they know "opportunities are out there".

He said: "There are services I've found now, but why isn't that suggested to people when they learn they're registered blind or visually impaired? I was completely confused."

When Mr Dyer's vision started to blur in his left eye he thought it was due to a lack of sleep.

Six months later his sight in his right eye also started to fade rapidly.

He told the BBC he "shut himself off" and he thought his life was "pretty much over".

'There are things we can do'

Years on Mr Dyer has started to become more independent and is now learning to walk with a cane and is enjoying playing video games, chess, carpentry and fishing.

He wants other people who are blind or visually impaired to know the "workarounds".

"Not many people know about the certain opportunities that are there," he said.

"That's why I want to help more blind and visually impaired people know what opportunities there are out there.

"There are things we can do."

Based in the Matson area of the city at the Redwell Centre, the group can share advice, play games and teach one another.

He said it is open for carers and family members as well.

'A life to be had'

Mr Dyer said: "When you get told you're blind or visually impaired, you get given a certificate and it's like you're on your own.

"You don't get given any places to go, you have to find out on your own or rely on word of mouth."

He added: "Over the years I met other people who were blind or visually impaired and I saw there was a life to be had, that you can still live being blind or visually impaired.

"I've started to become more and more independent. I go out more, albeit with someone with me, I do more things around the house and things like that."

Follow BBC Gloucestershire on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to us on email or via WhatsApp on 0800 313 4630.

Related Internet Links

More on this story