Mr Bell drove trucks for many years however, his ‘life changed forever’ in July 2022 when he was referred to the eye hospital and diagnosed with glaucoma. Glaucoma is the name of a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve transfers visual information from the eye to the brain and if it’s damaged, it can result in sight loss and even blindness.  It was discovered that the pressures of Mr Bell’s eyes were incredibly high, leading to regular hospital check-ups, initially weekly, and as the pressure reduced the appointments were spread a little further apart.


Mr Bell’s day-to-day routine dramatically changed; he had completely lost his peripheral field of vision which meant that he had to be extremely vigilant when crossing the road. Despite this, there has been more than one incident of him almost being knocked over. Moreover, Mr Bell obtained light sensitivity issues, meaning that a visit to the supermarket with bright fluorescent / LED overhead lighting was extremely difficult for him. However, the biggest impact was not being able to drive his car anymore. Driving had been his career.


Mr Bell is still trying to come to terms with his visual impairment, but in the beginning, he didn’t understand his condition, what the impact would be, or indeed know what help he might require moving forward to maintain independence. The eye hospital referred Mr Bell to Focus Birmingham whilst treating him. Focus offered him lots of information, support, and guidance. Focus encouraged him to use a reading aid that they gave him. At first, he wasn’t sure it would be suitable, however, after giving it a go, Mr Bell found that ‘using the magnifier felt like winning the lottery!’ It was incredibly helpful to him as he is now able to read more often and for longer periods.


Living with this condition is hard and his mental health declined for a while. However, with the support of his family and everyone at Focus he is learning to adjust to his new life and is surviving the best way he can.


It costs £20 to provide someone with a hand magnifier, so why not donate to Focus today so we can help more people like Mr Bell adjust to their new life