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Doncaster businessman urges regular screening to prevent blindness in diabetes patients

Richard Gair with Julie Liversidge (left) and Diane Landers (right) from the Diabetic Eye Screening Team
Richard Gair with Julie Liversidge (left) and Diane Landers (right) from the Diabetic Eye Screening Team

A successful Doncaster businessman who feared a life of blindness after a haemorrhage, has thanked hospital staff for saving his sight and urged people with diabetes to protect their eyesight.

Richard Gair, 45, from Doncaster, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 17 and received a pancreas and kidney transplant last year, sounded the health call after a retinal bleed left him uncertain if he would be able to work or drive again.

Although Richard’s diabetes is now classified as in remission due to the successful transplant, he recently experienced a diabetic vitreous haemorrhage which causes blood vessels in the eye to burst and sight loss.

Fortunately, Richard immediately contacted the diabetic eye screening team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary who rushed him in for an emergency appointment.

He said: “It was a frightening experience. I was at home when it happened. It started out as a little speck on my vision which quickly spread down, and almost completely covered my eye. At the time it affected me mentally, you can’t look to the future, all you can think about is that you can’t see. The thing that really got to me was the thought that I might not see my dad’s face again.”

Now that Richard has recovered from the incident, he is encouraging anyone living with diabetes to take up their invitations to diabetic eye screening. Richard is now running a successful business which makes bespoke, hand painted leather jackets. He has recently attended Manchester Fashion Show and has bagged some contracts with high end designers. If you think you have missed your screening appointment you can call the team on 01302 642596 to arrange another.