Derbyshire father went blind overnight and turned family life upside down
A man has revealed the moment his family’s life was turned upside down when his father suddenly went blind.
Stuart Allen of Langley Mill was just a child when his father, John Allen, suddenly lost his sight over the weekend.
John, who worked as a gardener, was forced to quit his job and Stuart’s mother had to become his babysitter.
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The diabetes that caused John’s sudden blindness was said to cause him other health issues later in life, including forced amputation and sepsis, although he never lost his sense of humor.
For Stuart, who is now 37, it’s a sobering reminder how quickly things can change when you least expect them.
“I was six or seven when he went blind – he was almost 40,” he said.
“One minute he had a job and almost overnight that changed. He was at work and one day his eyes were sore.
“My mom woke up in the morning and he said he couldn’t see. She put her fingers right in front of his face and he couldn’t see how many there were.
“He only had about two percent of his vision in one eye. Our lives were turned upside down.
“Mum became his babysitter, which was difficult because dad was the driver. Our home changed in an instant.”
As a result, John’s diabetes led to kidney problems and other health issues, despite his best efforts to stay in shape.
“He took care of his body – he was really healthy, but sometimes you can do all of these things and it doesn’t work,” Stuart said.
“He had sepsis several times, he had to have his toe amputated and had a catheter.
“He had a guide dog that gave him some freedom, but his saving grace was that he was a very positive man, so he always managed to do his gardening.”
Stuart says that despite everything his father went through, he remained in a good mood.
“Not once through all of this has he ever lost his positivity or focus,” he said.
“He was so lively and inspiring, he never complained, was never sad or miserable.”
In 2015, John began to lose kidney function and became ill, so he began to undergo dialysis.
Stuart wanted to give his father one of his kidneys to help him change a second time, but the doctors told him that was not possible.
“I would have done anything to help him, but unfortunately he was so bad with other health issues that the doctors said the surgery would be too much for him,” he said.
Sadly, John passed away in May 2019 at the age of 75, after collapsing in his backyard in Loscoe, and despite the heroic efforts of Stuart’s mother and their neighbor, he could not be revived. .
To honor his father, Stuart is due to run the London Marathon in October this year to raise money for Kidney Research UK.
Stuart, who is a senior producer at the Derby Theater, said he hopes he can contribute to research that means no one has to go through what his father is going through.
“My dad has been sick for a lot of my life, but he never gave up and took everything that was thrown at his chin, with a smile and bags of positivity,” he said. he declares.
“When the 2020 marathon was called off and everywhere got locked in, I thought of dad. If he could stay that optimistic in life, so could I.
“I can’t wait to run. I know it will be emotional. Dad was a county runner in his youth so I really want to make it special in his honor.
“If I train in the rain, sleet, or snow and don’t feel like doing it, I think about dad and his positivity and that keeps me going. Research is desperately needed to improve performance. life of kidney patients like my father.
“I can’t wait to make him proud, to be part of this buzz, a team effort of 40,000 people, all running to make a difference. Can’t wait to get my time. “
You can donate on Stuart’s fundraising page here.
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