Stories of eye loss
Stories. Stories about eye loss are personal and intense. Some clients choose to share their stories so that others (who may be uncertain about what lies ahead) can understand things better. In many cases, fear of the unknown is one of the greatest challenges, and actual stories of eye loss help to dispel fear.
Stories of Eye Loss – Kids
- Jill Shaw - My Baby Has Retinoblastoma
The waiting room at the radiotherapy clinic wasn’t the place to gain support and make friends. Everyone was so absorbed with what was happening to their child.
- Anita Gill - Truly Blessed
Halfway through the story, Mum covered my left eye with her hand and asked if I could see how many fingers she was holding up. I replied of course I couldn’t, moved her hand and then supplied her with the correct answer. She tried again, just to receive the same answer from me. ... This was the catalyst that made her question the sight in my right eye.
- Kendall Vincent - Don’t Stress
I recently met a two year old who had just lost an eye. I told her parents, “Don’t stress. The new eye will just be part of her. She won’t know any different.”
- Heath Elkington - A Dad’s Story
We made contact with every other family we could find with bilateral retinoblastoma. They were all happy to talk to us and it really helped.
- Keearn Baylis - I'm A Normal Girl
I've had my glass eye my whole life. It hasn't stopped me from doing one thing. ... But really, I am a normal girl!
- Jillian McIntyre – A Story About Loretta
I wish I had a camera the day Jenny put in her new eye. She was overjoyed. The look on her face – a smile that touched her ears. It was marvellous. She said, “I’ve got a new eye! I’ve got a new eye!”
- Microphthalmia and Ava - Tracy, Tim and Jai’s story
My heart just melted away, this beautiful little girl just lay in my arms so peaceful not knowing what a fright she had given us. I don’t know how or why but I just knew everything would be ok with her.
- Alex Quadrio - The Bomb Was Getting Hotter
I was fifteen - it was just six weeks ago. We were mucking around in the backyard making a chlorine bomb. This was the first time we’d ever tried to make one of these.
- Nicole Abbott - Seeing Better
Jayde (my daughter) can see colours and make out some shapes. She loves dancing, swimming, and has lots of nice friends at school. Jayde gets around with Miss Candy, her pink and green cane.
Stories of Eye Loss – Adults
- Brian Elliott – It Will Work Out in the End
I lost my eye to retinoblastoma thirty years ago, just before I turned three ... only having one eye becomes part of you. I’d like parents of kids who’ve lost an eye to know this.
- Alan Harrison - A Changed Outlook
During the fitting I was asked why I had retained my natural eye and had not had it removed. I explained that the specialist I saw when it first happened recommended I keep my natural eye as long as possible. That started the cogs working. When the scleral cover rejected I started to go down the track of having it removed and a prosthetic fitted. .. [my new artificial eye] has changed my whole outlook on life.
- Tim Cartledge - You Can Still See
If I was talking to someone facing eye loss I think I’d say focus on the fact that you can still see. You haven’t lost all your vision - that is the good thing.
- Marx Melenico - Total Blindness at Age 23
A bullet went through my head from a gun poked straight at my left temple. But total blindness turned out to be a misfortune that brought about good opportunities.
- Frances Isaia- I've Been Proposed to Five Times
At first I did feel ugly. I felt very self conscious and when I looked in the mirror it was the first thing I saw. I thought no one would marry me with a glass eye. Well I’ve been proposed to five times!
- Lloyd Daniels - It Hasn’t Affected My Bowling At All
I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore. I keep thinking - this is what’s happened and I am going to get on top of it. I feel determined not to let one eye change my life. I am back playing indoor cricket. It hasn’t affected my bowling at all.
- Maurie Enright - I Wish I Lived on an Island
You could say that when you lose an eye you replace it by being more of your real self and being honest with your fellow man. Losing an eye has made me the person I am today.
- David McKenna – Don’t Lose Confidence
If I had any advice for a young bloke about to lose his eye I’d say don’t lose confidence or self-esteem. Don’t worry. Be yourself and you’ll come to grips with it.
- Joel Cooke - I Caught A Wave That Changed My Life
Well I was up at Lancelin, an hour and a half north of Perth, surfing with a couple of mates. Just a normal day really… when I caught a wave that changed my life.
- Lars Lindberg – Why Worry?
It is definitely a loss and an inconvenience. But I’m better off than if I’d lost my leg. I think, why worry? I’ve got one foot in the grave anyway. Why worry? I am a lucky man. I am looked after.
- Jean Hartz - Keep Busy
As a younger person I played tennis and golf, - not to any high standard, - nevertheless only having one eye was no deterrent.
.. [your Ocularist] helps you build your confidence, and leaves you looking absolutely normal, in fact my family tell me the last eye which I had made this year is better than my normal one!!
- Alfredo Vigolo - Not a Work Injury
I lost my eye in 1964. I used to do cement work .... the wind blew some into my eye. ... It’s all right having an artificial eye. I feel better. Not many people can tell. It’s better.
- Mark Singleton - Smiley Eye
So I got myself a smiley eye. Instead of the iris, I have a yellow smiley face outlined in black with black eyes, nose and mouth. If I turn up at work with my normal eye in, everyone stares at me and says, “What’s changed?
- Ailsa Maley - A One-Eyed Life
.. so I became one of those who have a “One-Eyed View of Life" ... everyone who sees it after hearing my story is amazed. I used to say “It’s a dollar to guess, if you get it right, I’ll return the $1 - I never ever carried out this little quiz but I always spoke the words. I could have made a lot of money! Funny thing is that so many people would ask, “Can you see in that eye OK now?”
- eBook: Stories of Eye Loss
We have collected stories from a range of our clients who have lost an eye and are willing to share their experiences with others. The eBook is available for individual use free of charge. We also offer a licensed version for Surgeries or Hospitals.
- Peter Hackett - I Can’t See You
One of the boys brought his 16-year-old girl friend to meet us. I said to her, “ I can’t see you but I can use Braille”. I made a gesture in her direction with my hands – I didn’t touch her. It was a joke. It was several years before she would speak to me. Now we laugh about it.
- Maureen Muskett - It’s Alright
I lost my eye as a child in the bombing of London in 1940. I didn’t meet anyone else with an artificial eye until I was an adult. I was very honest with people when I met them. If I noticed that people were studying the eye I just told them. “ That is my war wound”.
- Jan Offermann - Have You Got A Glass Eye Miss?
I don’t go on waterslides anymore and 3D movies aren’t worth it. Seeing out of one eye means having to turn your head a lot, like something out of the Exorcist.
- James Hargrave - It Isn’t A Big Deal
I am a teenager, and a boarder at a high school now. I made the decision to tell friends and they told other friends. It isn’t a big deal and it isn’t a secret.
- Sandra Gangell - A Vulnerable Age
Years later I had some counselling for another reason and was made to realise that what I went through was a big change. I should have had some counselling at that time. I was at a vulnerable age when your looks are so important. I would certainly recommend to anyone facing eye loss - to get some counselling and support.
- Marjory Pitchers - Just A Part of Me
As a joke the girls at work used to leave a big plastic spider in the flour bins sometimes. To take revenge I once hid an artificial eye in the cream on a birthday cake. I can still hear the girl screaming. There was no trouble with spiders after that.
- Steve L - A One Eyed View of Biking
Not long after I started riding again, I went on a rally and had quite a bit of trouble piloting the GSX home in the dark. It was dead scary but I got there in the end. One advantage of losing an eye was that i got to wear a black leather eye patch for quite a while. Weirdly enough it made women take more of an interest in me.
- Mike Murray - Some Thoughts
From a personal point, sometimes (in the early stages) one may feel that having an artificial eye is just so detectable, but in fact it is NOT!!! So many of my friends and family find difficulty in deciding which one it is!!
For more stories of eye loss visit the Kolberg Ocularist site.
Contributions. If you would like to participate in the portrait project or contribute your story, please contact us using the form below. Telling your story or having your portrait taken is something you might choose to do because it helps clarify your own experience.
Or you might want to help those new to eye loss to understand more. You are welcome to participate in the Story or Portrait projects privately and share them with people you choose. You can also offer to share your story or portrait with others through our website (with or without your name).
We have recently started our Portrait Project with Russell Barton, a Master Photographer. We offer a portrait photograph to each of our clients, and where they provide permission we’ll post them on our site.
Its a very personal choice, and we welcome your participation whatever you decide.
Got a story to tell?
If you are a current or former client of Paul and Jenny’s and would like to contribute your story, please use the form below.