Tom's Story
Living Together with Low Vision

Whether you find yourself supporting your loved one at the start of their low vision journey or are learning to live with low vision, the real experiences of family and supporters can provide guidance for others who find themselves in a similar position.

Click to meet Tom

Meet Tom


“Most of the lessons we learned in our marriage was you take one day at a time, you take it and you take everything you do, and you find out what you have to.

My name is Tom, my wife is Sandy, and she has wet AMD.”

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Skip to the first signs of low vision

The First Signs of Low Vision

Skip to everyday life with low vision

Everyday Life with Low Vision

The First Signs of Low Vision

Changes to vision often happen as we age. As a supporter, it is easy to miss or give less thought to what many consider to be a normal part of growing older, but in fact may be a more serious condition. This was the case with Tom, who initially believed Sandy’s low vision was caused by cataracts.

“We didn't know what it was. We thought it was cataracts because she'd tell me, 'That's the wrong colour shirt you've got on.', and I'd say, 'It's blue!', and she'd say, 'No, it's green!'.“

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Click to hear from Sandy and Tom
A photo of Tom

My advice for others supporting their loved one experiencing signs of low vision


“One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from our marriage is taking one day at a time. And that’s exactly what we did when Sandy was diagnosed with wet AMD. We initially thought it was cataracts, and we had no idea what AMD was at the time. Thinking back, I wish I understood what she was going through earlier so she could have been diagnosed sooner.”

Everyday Life with Low Vision


Family and supporters may find themselves responsible for providing support to and from numerous tests, hospital, or clinic visits, which can take both a physical and emotional toll.

Naturally, the relationship between a person living with low vision and their family and supporter can change from before the diagnosis. It may take some time for them to come to terms with this, but it does not mean the mutually supportive relationship they once had has gone.

“Sandy took care of me four years ago for five or six months when I couldn’t do anything. I was operated on. She took care of me then, so hey, it goes back and forth.”

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Click to hear more from Tom and Sandy
A photo of Sandy and Tom at an event

My advice to encourage your loved one throughout their everyday life


“Be there for each other. Just like Sandy helped me when I needed her, I’m here to help and encourage her now that she needs me. I’ve never missed an appointment with her retinal specialist, even if I can’t enter the room, it’s important for Sandy to know that I’m there.

When Sandy was diagnosed with AMD, I tried to give her some encouragement by telling her “You don’t need your eyes to sing a song, you can still pursue your passion for singing”. I think it was really important for Sandy to continue doing what she loved.”

A photo of Sandy and Tom on holiday in the sun

Sandy and Tom on holiday in the sun

In Closing

The role of a supporter for someone living with low vision is broad and evolves through time. The real experiences found here represent years of trial and error, of emotion and a desire to help a loved one live a fulfilling life.

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A photo of Joe
A photo of Joe

Joe’s Story:

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A picture of Jamie holding a dog
A picture of Jamie holding a dog

Jamie’s Story:

Jamie takes an active role in mom Evella’s healthcare for diabetes-related macular edema, helping to maintain both her and Evella’s independence