Andrew Rose found out at 21 that he would eventually be left blind by a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic eye condition that leads to incurable blindness.
Many people suffering from RP do not become completely blind until late on in life, however, Andrew is one of the unfortunate few who, now at 37, no longer has his sight. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is one of the most common forms of inherited eye disease with approximately 25,000 people in the UK suffering from it, there is, however, currently no cure.
When Andrew first learnt of his condition he had just completed his University degree and his unbelievable strength and determination is the only reason he has made it to where he is today, he was told that he would eventually lose his sight but could not be told how long it would be so he decided to take every opportunity he could, “I wanted to do my Accountancy qualifications, so I did, I wanted to travel the world, so I did, I wanted to help others in my situation so I did, I didn’t think I was invincible, I just realised how much I had taken for granted previously”.
After Andrews’s last travelling expedition 2 years ago he returned with almost no sight. He had already given up his job working at Cotrills as Head of Finance, which was a tough decision to take, and had to start facing the fact that normal everyday tasks were going to be a struggle. “I always knew this day would come but i hadn’t really thought about it all that much up until this point”. Andrew had to look for help from others and, after speaking to several organisations and not getting the type of help he needed, his mum suggested Henshaws.
How Henshaws helped Andrew
Andrew enrolled himself on the Skillstep course, a 12 week programme teaching all basic skills from IT to cooking. Andrew then went on to do an advanced IT course and has just started to learn how to read Braille. “I have to admit that the advancements in technology do help immensely, I’m a techno junkie and I like to keep ahead of the game when it comes to innovative new gadgets”.
The achievements he has made from first being diagnosed 16 years ago right up until today are inspiring. He has never let his situation get him down and he owes a lot of this to the people and the support network offered at Henshaws. “The staff at Henshaws would bend over backwards for anyone in need of their help and the people you get to interact with on a daily basis help to make you come to terms with the way your life will change and even offer some helpful tips for day to day life. Without their strength and support i could not have managed to get through this extremely difficult period in my life”.
Get in touch
If you need advice and support to cope with sight loss, please get in touch with us on 016 872 1234/ 0151 708 7055/ 0191 2759417