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Would you ever imagine that a visit to the Doctor with a sore ankle would result in near-total blindness just one year later?

 

Almost blind at just six years old

Would you ever imagine that a visit to the Doctor with a sore ankle would result in near-total blindness just one year later?

This is exactly what triggered a series of medical tests for six-year-old Arron Lyall. The result was a diagnosis of Uveitis, or inflammation of the eye; a symptom of a much larger problem - Juvenile Arthritis.

But much worse was to come. One day, when playing with his sister, Arron saw red in his left eye. His eye was haemorrhaging. He was terrified. His mum rushed him to Emergency. Doctors drained his eye and found that the retina had detached. A week later, Arron’s right eye also began to haemorrhage.

Give today to support people like Arron who are living with vision impairment.

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An unsuccessful operation

Arron’s eyes were so inflamed that he was at risk of retinal rupture. He was given a steroid injection to stop the inflammation. If doctors had not done so, Arron would have gone completely blind right then.

Arron endured a long operation to re-attach the retina in his left eye – but it was unsuccessful. At the time, he also had to have cortisone injections in his ankles to treat the arthritis. These injections were so painful that he had to be sedated.

Despite having suffered so many setbacks from a young age, Arron, now 24, remains very positive.

He knows what he wants and is determined to achieve it. Arron loves music and his dream is to be a full-time professional musician.

He now has no vision in his left eye and about 10% in his right one. When he gets his eyes tested, charts are useless. Doctors gauge his vision by holding up fingers or shapes in front of him.

Please give Arron his independence today.

Low definition vision

Arron calls his vision ‘low definition’. He adds: “As soon as the sun goes down, I’m buggered. Using a cane in the dark is hard. It’s impossible if I’m not familiar with the route. I always need to have someone to help me at night. That’s hard for my family and friends and I want to be independent.”

Can you imagine trying to achieve your dream when every day you have to overcome challenges you are not even aware of?

Challenges such as taking a step in a street you’re not familiar with, such as having to rely on a sighted person to get you around and to travel for your work.

Only a Guide Dog can give Arron the safety and independence he needs right now to make his dream come true. 

Only friends like you can help open doors for Arron.

Yes! I will donate today to help make Arron's dream a reality.

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Once he gets a Guide Dog, there will be no stopping Arron

Arron has been assessed and approved for a Guide Dog and is now on the waiting list. Transforming one of our wonderful puppies into the perfect Guide Dog for Arron requires the best quality training and this requires expertise, time and resources – all costing money.

Once he gets a Guide Dog, there will be no stopping Arron. Not that he lets much get in his way: “I’ve always tried to give everything a crack. What’s the point in taking a backseat approach? It’s about accepting that you can give everything a go.”

Arron knows that what's left of his vision will eventually disappear and that he'll be in complete darkness.

“But I am determined to make the most of the sight I have while I have it.”

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Arron will discover he can do so much more

With a Guide Dog Arron could confidently travel and work hard to become a professional musician. “It’s a great feeling to be able to make music and play an instrument. Music brings people together; family and friends come to gigs…. it’s a good feeling.”

Andrew Barnes, Guide Dog Services Team Leader, talks about what a Guide Dog could mean for someone like Arron:

“When Arron starts working with his potential Guide Dog, he will realise that there is so much more he can do. Arron is naturally a dog person so he will find it easy to trust a dog and with that, his confidence will grow."

Arron’s dream of becoming a full-time, professional musician rests on his independence. His dream is only possible with your help. Can you imagine if Guide Dogs were able to call Arron on Christmas Day to tell him that your generosity has made it possible for us to find his perfect Guide Dog?

You can help make that happen by donating today.

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"It's easy to shut yourself in a box and not get out there."

Arron can’t wait: “Being vision impaired I am always trying to push the envelope myself. It’s easy to shut yourself in a box and not get out there. I know a Guide Dog will encourage me to get out and do more and challenge myself.”

Your donation today will help Arron gain confidence and independence with a Guide Dog so he can make his dream a reality.

Maybe one day you'll see Arron on stage and listening to his heart-warming music will remind you of the difference your generosity made in his life.

Please give generously today. Thank you.