94-year-old Jim Hooper, lost his sight in 2012 due to age-related macular degeneration. In 2013, Jim started to receive support from Blind Veterans UK and has since been able to recover his independence.
Jim joined the Territorial Army in 1939 before volunteering for the Glider Pilot regiment in the Army Air Corps in 1942. In 1944, Jim was involved in the Battle of Arnhem where he was taken prisoner by German troops, and was held as a POW for seven months. After being released, Jim re-joined his regiment before leaving service in 1946.
Years on, Jim was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, which has slowly robbed him of his sight, meaning that he was registered blind four years ago. Jim had long been a supporter of Blind Veterans UK and was aware of the support available to veterans with sight loss, which meant that he got in touch with the charity as soon as he could.
This father's day, his daughter Maundy Todd, has spoken of how help from Blind Veterans UK had made a huge difference to her dad's life.
Maundy said "Blind Veterans UK has been amazing for my father, both in the support available and in the generosity and kindness of the people who work there. My father is the most resourceful, innovative person in dealing with whatever life throws at him, but losing his sight has been very tough. But the charity has given him a new lease of life."
Maundy said: "I think we all feel enormously grateful to Blind Veterans UK. It has given Daddy, hope, company and new skills. He's been several times to the centre in Brighton, been trained on new software so that he can continue to use a computer. He even learned to touch type at 92 years old. He has wonderful IT equipment that reads things out to him and also received lots of equipment for the house to make it safer for him and easier to live independently."
"I'd encourage anyone who may be eligible for support from Blind Veterans UK to get in touch with them."
Jim said: "Losing my sight was devastating. I'd been driving all my life, and the location I was living in at the time has very little public transport, so I had to rely on other people and taxis. As a supporter of Blind Veterans UK, I realised that they didn't just support those blinded in service, so I got in touch.
"My youngest son and his family live close and provide wonderful support for me and my wife, including going out for a weekly beer. My eldest son lives further away, but the technology provided by the charity allows him to help me in many ways including ordering my weekly groceries, various admin things and we review and tidy up my systems when he comes to see me.
"Blind Veterans UK has been marvellous, just so supportive in every way - particularly at the Brighton centre and the visits from my welfare officer. Blind Veterans UK has helped me regain my independence."
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