Jenny has some wise advice for people living with glaucoma and low vision.
She asks them to consider how they would get to the hairdresser, doctor, or supermarket if their sight deteriorated tomorrow. How will you visit your family or friends if you lose your license? How will your weekly routine change? Although this can be hard to face, Jenny advocates it is easier to be prepared now than wait until it happens.
In 1951, Jenny was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. At three months old, during her first glaucoma surgery on her right eye, they also found a cataract had formed on her left eye. The cataract blocked normal sight development leaving Jenny with very little sight in her left eye.
In the 1990s, an infected cornea led to a corneal transplant on her right eye. The transplant went well until 2009, when the transplant failed. Since then, she has had two more full corneal transplants, three partial transplants, two trabeculectomies, and one laser fail. Five years ago, her ophthalmologist removed the cataract in her left eye. She says she had beautiful sight for a week, but that too failed.
Jenny has always been optimistic and appreciative of how her ophthalmologists have skillfully balanced her glaucoma and corneal transplants; however, a few years ago, Jenny’s thinking started to change. She began to question how many more operations she could have to keep saving her sight?
Recently, she abruptly ended a trip to Spain, Morocco, and Portugal after two days as she found the steps in Barcelona proved too challenging for her level of vision. She had to accept that she could no longer manage overseas travel.
“Accept your fight today – you don’t know how well you’ll see tomorrow.”
She felt it was an admission of defeat to approach Blind Low Vision and start using a white cane. She had lost confidence. It was daunting to cross the road where she could no longer see the median strip or think what she would do if family and friends weren’t available to escort her.
With Jenny’s ‘can-do’ attitude, she decided that the best approach was to prepare for life with low vision and practice the activities she enjoys, so she is not reliant on others to confidently go about life as usual.
Her life is busy with audible books, trekking up hills with friends, & weekly yoga. She regularly attends the Christchurch Support Group, where she enjoys learning from interesting speakers and encouraging fellow group members to be prepared today to continue to live well with glaucoma.
We encourage you to investigate a support group near you or contact Karon at if you’d like to talk to someone like Jenny.

Previous Next