Man talking on mobile phone

Paul’s Sightline Story

My sight loss journey has been a bit of a grieving process for me. I enjoyed a career as a Civil Engineer and travelled the world; seeing and experiencing the most amazing things. To lose my sight was akin to losing a family member; a loss I don’t think I’ll ever fully be at peace with...

Paul’s
Sightline Story

My sight loss journey has been a bit of a grieving process for me. I enjoyed a career as a Civil Engineer and travelled the world; seeing and experiencing the most amazing things. To lose my sight was akin to losing a family member; a loss I don’t think I’ll ever fully be at peace with.

It’s taken time and with support from my family, I am making the most of life without one of my senses.

Since losing my sight I have developed Charles Bonnet Syndrome; a condition which can develop in someone of any age – children too – who has lost over 60% of sight. It causes vivid, silent, visual hallucinations which range from disturbing to terrifying. It is not a mental health condition but caused entirely by loss of sight.

Not everyone with sight loss develops CBS but, for those who do, the condition can be distressing and debilitating – not least because it may be confused, mistakenly, with the onset of a mental health condition.

Far too many people who develop CBS have received no warning about the condition and, consequently, confide in no one.

When Sightline matched me with a befriender who also has CBS, I can’t tell you how happy that made me. Patrick* provides reassurance with all my hallucinations, no matter how weird they sound. We often compare experiences and invariably enjoy a chuckle at how strange some of these are during our calls.

Sightline’s Telephone Befriending service has provided a vital opportunity for me to develop a new friendship. I don’t go out of the house without my wife or daughter so having a regular day and time for my weekly call means they can go out knowing that I will be fine at home for a couple of hours chatting to Patrick.

Man talking on mobile phone
Man talking on mobile phone

For more information about Charles Bonnet Syndrome, the Esme’s Umbrella website has some useful information.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

If you or anyone you know living in the sight loss community would benefit from a telephone befriending relationship like Paul, we’d love to hear from them.

Call 0800 587 2252 or email us at info@sightline.org.uk to find out more.

To find out more, please contact us:

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0800 587 2252*

EMAIL US AT

info@sightline.org.uk

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(*0800 numbers are free to call from BT landlines and most mobile networks)