A Scottish grandfather who suffers from a degenerative eye disease hopes a high-tech helmet will give him the priceless gift of seeing his grandchildren’s faces for the first time.
Scott Ramsay first noticed vision problems around 20 years ago and was referred to an eye doctor who found mottling in his eyes.
The 58-year-old, from Dundee, has been told he has Stargardt’s disease, a rare genetic eye condition that occurs when fatty material builds up on a small part of the retina.
Illness slowly stole Scott’s vision and cost him his job and his independence over the past two decades.
The grandfather lost his driver’s license and eventually his job as a commercial window cleaner which he said was like “getting his legs cut off”.
He recently discovered the IrisVision glasses, a helmet with revolutionary technology, which will allow him to see the faces of his four beloved grandchildren, Carra-leigh, 14, Brook, 12, Jack, 10 and Ford who is only three weeks old – but it will cost him £3,000.
Scott told the Record: “When I was told I was going to lose my sight, it went over my head, but my wife was so upset about it.
“When I got home I thought, did he just say what I thought he said? My wife burst into tears.
“He said they had never seen Stargardt’s disease before with the amount of mottling I had in my eye. He took pictures of the inside and back of my eye for them. bring to a conference in London to show eye surgeons.
“When he came back he contacted me and said none of them had ever seen anything like this before. It’s the only diagnosis I’ve ever had.”
Scott is now registered as blind and had to give up his job, hobbies and social events as illness slowly robbed him of his sight.
He can no longer do simple tasks like going to the supermarket without help.
He continued: I am a plasterer by trade but I have always done driving jobs like driving trucks and taxis. My last job was a commercial window cleaner which took me all over North East Scotland. It was a big loss, like having my legs cut off.
“Things went from bad to worse when I lost my driver’s license, lost my job and had to get a guide dog. My sight is gradually deteriorating.”
Scott is now fundraising to cover the cost of a pair of IrisVision glasses – which will allow him to see the faces of his family again.
So far he has raised £215 of a total of £3,000 – but he says the outlay will be worth it because ‘you can’t put a price on seeing your grandchildren’s faces’ .
He continued: “I have never been able to sit with my grandchildren and see what they are doing.
“When I go shopping, I need the help of store staff or my friend Martin to tell me what’s on the shelves.
“I like working with my hands, tinkering carpentry and carpentry, and I used to go fishing a lot, but you can’t do that now. It’s the simple things you take for granted.
“Being on benefits, glasses are not something I can afford. But it would make a huge difference in my life and be a big step towards independence.”
To donate to Scott’s fundraiser, click here.
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