Michael Ellwood, a talented painter, helped IGA to raise awareness and raise funds during National Glaucoma Awareness Week in 2015. Michael wanted people to read his story, enjoy his paintings and possibly leave a donation to the IGA as a gesture of thanks. Here is Michael's story...
"My name is Michael. I have primary open angle glaucoma in both eyes. This means that the remnants of the sight I still possess is positioned directly in front of me.
To successfully see where I am and where I am going, I have to continually move my head from side to side, above and below me, and scan the area ahead of me so that I do not come to harm or have an accident, or cause an accident to occur. Loss of sight can also bring disorientation to my surroundings and confusion to the wider picture of life going on around me.
Once I had full sight and never ever thought (like most people) that anything could, or would, go wrong with my sight, neglecting to regularly visit the optician for an eye test.
Confident that nothing could be wrong, I carried on the neglect of my eyes and health into my mid-forties until of course the inevitable day when upon finally having an eye test I was told that not only did I have glaucoma, but it was very advanced and the sight I had already lost would never come back.
I always had a choice to have an eye test, I should have exercised that choice long before I did. In delaying having my eyes tested, I lost a great deal of my sight, and also in my case lost the employment I had, as my job necessitated driving a vehicle.
A life-changing experience, one in which in hindsight I really did not need to have. It was avoidable.
Don't be like me, exercise your choice today, book an eye test, take care of your sight.
I have for many years enjoyed being able to express myself in landscape painting (watercolour - designer gouache). As the years, and my glaucoma, has progressed my pictures have reduced in size. What you see on your screen, in reality, are quite small paintings.
The prints are free to download and make attractive screen savers. Click on your chosen image which will open a new window. With the mouse right-click and select either save, or set as desktop background. Your download has then been completed.
I hope the prints will be enjoyed and appreciated. Should you wish to donate to the IGA, during National Glaucoma Awareness Week, then please do so by telephoning the IGA on 01233 64 81 71 or donate through the DONATE button on this website.
Comment from IGA
Michael's landscape paintings exude a positive and optimistic sense of the futre. We are proud that he has chosen IGA as the charity to share his story in the hope that others will learn to be proactive about protecting their sight. We hope that everyone enjoys the paintings as much as we do, and downloads them as screen savers for themselves, their relatives and friends. If you are able to leave a donation to the IGA in return for enjoying Michael's prints that would be very much appreciated.
For further information about National Glaucoma Awareness Week, please click here