Mick is blind after losing his sight very suddenly in 2011 due to a condition called optic neuropathy. Molly, his guide dog, helps Mick to lead an active and independent life.
He’s supporting our campaign to encourage other people to share their stories and get involved in making services better.
Losing his sight
Mick told us,
‘I don't think people realise that somebody who's had sight and then lost sight, how it affects you mentally. It's all in your head. You have to fight a lot of mental issues when you’ve had sight and you've lost sight.’
‘I used to try and read a number plate of a car. One day I could read it, the next day I couldn't. You'd go away thinking “My sights deteriorated a bit more”, and it plays with your head quite often. For two years I didn't want to be here. I wanted to commit suicide.’
Counselling helped Mick adapt to his sight loss.
‘I found that counselling was the best thing I ever did do. I could tell counsellors my anxieties and what was going on’.
Mick also has a lot of good things to say about his GP service.
‘I've got a very good GP and the reception at the doctor's listen to me when I say that I'm not feeling very good. They listen and get me into an appointment.’
Mick puts his experience of adapting to sight loss to good use as Chair of the Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment Partnership Board (PDSI). This is one of Cambridgeshire County Council’s four Adult Social Care Boards. They are supported by Healthwatch who provide training and expenses to all Independent Members.
Each Board’s role is to support and improve social care by including the people who use the services (service users) in their design, delivery and evaluation.
In the last year, the PDSI Board has helped raise issues that are important to disabled people around issues like wheelchair services, adapted housing and transport.
Mick gets involved to help.
‘(I can) make a difference by putting my views and my experiences into the mix regarding visually impaired and mental side of being severely sight impaired.’
‘Anything the council do is slow. Anything the hospitals do are also slow. To try and get all of them together for them to listen to you… Sometimes you think we're not achieving anything and then all of a sudden it's done.’
Share your story
Everything we do starts with what local people tell us. Share your experiences and ideas to help services hear what works, what doesn’t and what you want from care in the future.
No matter how big or small the issue, tell us about it. If it matters to you then it’s very likely it matters to someone else.
Call us on 0330 355 1285
Text us on 0752 0635 176