Inspired by the care his wife, Georgina, and daughter, Sophie, have received at Moorfields Eye Hospital, Tom Clements took on an incredible challenge to raise funds for Moorfields Eye Charity. His mission? To spend 24 hours blindfolded.
Sophie and Georgina suffer from aniridia, a rare condition which means the iris, the coloured part of the eye, is missing or incomplete. Over time, mother and daughter have suffered deteriorating eye sight and both are now registered blind.
Grateful for the outstanding care Moorfields Eye Hospital has always given Georgina and Sophie, Tom wanted to show his thanks by raising £2,100 to buy a special piece of equipment called a tonometer, which allows the pressure of the eye to be measured with minimal discomfort. Tonometers are quick and easy to use, which makes them particularly useful for doctors working with paediatric patients, who perhaps don’t like to sit still for very long!
Demand is always high for this convenient and minimally intrusive equipment, and Tom set out to change this by taking the brave decision to put himself in the shoes of his loved ones to raise money.
From the moment it began, his 24-hour blindfolded journey was a hit.
Tom explains that it was “daunting at first” but the overwhelming support he gathered spurred him on. He relied on friends and family to guide him, just as his wife and daughter often rely on him to do the same.
Tom said that he often got frustrated and his mood would frequently change, as routine tasks such as going to the grocery store became seemingly impossible. He joked that he would never know if his wife, Georgina, was in the room or not, so he would call out and she would answer from across the house, laughing. The experience has given him a new empathy with people with sight problems, and with his wife and daughter.
Tom’s fantastic efforts have raised an unbelievable £2,283 - enough to purchase a new tonometer for Moorfields.
I’m so grateful to everyone who sponsored me and helped us raise so much so quickly. Georgina has been a patient at Moorfields since she was 14, and the hospital means a lot to our family. I’m pleased we could give something back.