"This gentleman has Glaucoma and Dry Macular Degeneration in both eyes. Earlier in the year he had an operation on his back making it difficult to walk.
"His consultant had advised him that there was nothing further that could be done for him and he was discharged. Thankfully the Consultant did have the insight to ensure I spent time with him before allowing him to go.
"When I introduced myself and we closed the door to my room, he burst into tears, telling me he wanted to avoid going to live in residential care. But he was finding it very hard as he lived alone."
Imagine the shock of being told that you are losing your sight. Imagine being told that there was nothing more that doctors or surgery could do to save your vision. Where would you go? Who would you tell first?
The above quote is from a conversation I had with Alyson Bunn, an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer that you have helped us to finance, who works in four hospitals across Surrey.
She works to ensure that visually impaired people are given the encouragement and reassurance that they need, right at the point of their diagnosis.
Without Alyson, more patients, elderly and otherwise, would be overwhelmed with the news which will change their lives forever.
That's why I'm writing today to ask you to make a donation that will help sick and elderly people deal with the shock of losing their vision. Alyson's words reflect the trauma that many people experience upon learning that they are suffering from irreversible sight loss. For many people, there is nothing to do but to start planning for a very different future from the one they had imagined.
The presence of people like Alyson at the point of first diagnosis can be crucial in cases like these.
It is her job to ensure that the patient is made aware of all the services available to them, which include mobility training and communications classes, as well as practical help with bills and in the home.
Each year, thousands of adults and children are registered as blind or visually impaired across London. However, there are many more patients who are not aware of the services available to them and slip through the net. That is why we need your help to fund at least two more roles like Alyson's, to ensure that each and every person diagnosed with a visual impairment has a chance to access the services that will help them the most.
I would like to leave you with a quote that evokes the shock of losing one's vision:
"Sight loss is like bereavement. The world a blind person knew and loved with all its visual beauty has been denied to them forever."
Ellen, Sight Loss Counsellor