Regaining independence

Community news
Community news

Mr Richard Chapman spoke about life with a guide dog at the May meeting of the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association Cragg Vale branch.

Richard, who is married three children, explained he was a traveller for business, a keen sportsman and captain of his local golf club.

At age 35 he was told that he had diabetes, then he lost his sight and it was confirmed he had diabetic retinopathy. He also had renal problems and was regularly on dialysis. He was using a wheelchair and not expected to live, he said.

Richard explained that a specialist at St James’s Hospital in Leeds offered him a lifeline, a risky operation and the first of its kind, of a kidney and pancreas transplant from a donor.

He spent 18 weeks in hospital and they saved his life.

He now has normal functions and is no longer in a wheelchair, and has his guide dog Chester - his independence is back as Chester knows his wants and goes everywhere with him.

Richard is now a patron of the kidney unit at St James’s.

Sue Whitehead thanked him for his informative insights and talk.