Blind veteran helped to paint again by charity

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An Army veteran who is registered blind has rediscovered his passion for painting with help from a charity.

Andrew John Wilson, 44, from Garforth, benefited from life-changing support from Blind Veterans UK after he experienced rapid sight loss due to optic atrophy.

As part of National Eye Health Week he is urging ex-servicemen and women to find out more about what the charity can offer them.

After leaving the Army he experienced significant problems with his eyesight due to optic atrophy – an untreatable and irreversible eye condition that causes severe blurred vision.

Andrew, who served in the Army for 10 years, said: “I first noticed my sight going in late 2011 and by January 2012 it was so bad that I was registered blind.

“After being diagnosed I was so scared, I stayed in the house for six weeks.”

Andrew was referred to Blind Veterans UK, which has enabled him to carry on living independently in his own home and helped him rediscover a passion for painting.

Andrew said: “I was a keen painter before my sight loss and with Blind Veterans UK’s support I have been able to reignite my passion for painting whilst also learning to sculpt.”

PIC: Simon Hulme

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