My eyesight has been bad for a very long time. When I was young, I used to watch the television very close. This was the first sign that my eyes were not good.

My mum and my grandma also have eye problems so that's why I am affected. I have had three operations on my eyes for cataracts and glaucoma, and I have been completely blind in one eye for about four years.

My learning disability means I grasp things more slowly and I need people to communicate clearly.

Normally I go to my local hospital for my eye care - they are good with me. But in 2013 they referred me to another hospital to get an operation. That is where the problems began - I had a new doctor looking at my eye before the operation and and he didn't explain anything to me about what would happen.

In the past the hospital staff sedated me for operations on my eyes. I thought this would happen again. But instead, the doctor immediately started operating on me, while I was still awake. I was so scared, they were telling me not to close my eyes, it was a horrible feeling. I didn't have a chance to explain what would make me feel more comfortable.

There was no one to talk it through and no time for the doctors to get to know me. I wish the doctors could have told me what was happening and why - it's what anyone should expect. 

I hope staff get better training in the future to make sure they communicate better with people with a learning disability.

Desmond's Story

Nobody should have to suffer the same experience as Desmond’s. Making reasonable adjustments, which are often simple changes in the way healthcare is provided, can avoid scenarios like this. That is why we must act now.


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