Alan’s story

1965 started with reoccurring episodes of tonsillitis. Visited GP. Prescribed antibiotics. Off school for two weeks and these bouts occurred approximately every two weeks.

Early 1966 tonsils removed and had to repeat my first year at Merchant Taylors Secondary School.

Autumn 1966 regular outbreaks of mouth ulcers and ulcerating of the tonsil beds. Prescribed Bongella and mouth wash.

1967 started with ulcers on my feet. Prescribed antibiotics and cream. Couldn’t walk resulting in time off school.

Spring 1968 phlebitis in left leg. Prescribed poltis and bed rest. Time off school.

Autumn 1968 two bouts of conjunctivitis. Prescribed antibiotics and eye drops by GP. Fortunately, as I was slightly short sighted in my left eye, I was referred to Mr. Tony Gray at St. Paul’s Eye Hospital.

On 4th December 1968 admitted into St. Paul’s. Prescribed Pregnisolone, antibiotics, local injections and eye drops.

16th December 1968 transferred from St. Paul’s to David Lewis Northern Hospital for further investigations by Dr. Thelwell-Jones’s team.  After stabilising the symptoms I was transferred back to St. Paul’s in early 1969. However, after suffering a further flare up in both eyes I was transferred to Moorfields Eye Hospital for further investigation.

April 1969 after the steroids being increased at Moorfields I was transferred back to St. Paul’s and allowed home and back to school after the Easter break.

June 1969 a flare up in both eyes. Readmitted into St. Paul’s. This was the first time that a flare up resulted in central vision being irremediably damaged.

Returned to school in September 1969 but with significant central vision loss. However, another flare up resulted in me being readmitted later on in the autumn of that year.

Although an inpatient at St. Paul’s I attended an outpatient’s appointment at the David Lewis Northern Hospital and met a Registrar, Mr. Hall who thought he new what the underlying condition was and Behcets was confirmed by him in October 1969. The steroids were replaced with a hormone treatment.

This was up-to-the point of diagnosis. Alas I had several more flare-ups and there were serious concerns about the side effects of the high dosage of steroids I was on. Flare-ups in both eyes continued as well as other symptoms throughout 1970 into 1971 and each time I was left with less and less sight.

The final flare-up was in early May 1971. At which point I decided to forgo further extreme medication as the benefits were miniscule.

I was registered totally blind (nil perception of light NPL) in June 1971.

I was rehabilitated and caught up with my missing education at the Royal National College for the Blind 1971 – 1976. I matriculated to the University of Warwick in 1976 and graduated with a second class honours degree in 1979. I entered the College of Law in Chester in September 1979 to train as a solicitor.

Alas, I met with my greatest life impediment there and ended up marrying her and she allowed me to father 4 children and pay for them too!!

I have been in full-time employment from 1980 up to the present day working in the field of Information Technology.

Back to top