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'It was frightening' - man describes horror of almost going blind twice

PUBLISHED: 17:53 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:53 25 June 2019

Phil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to raise money for the James Paget Hospital�s Eye Clinic through an art exhibition. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Phil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to raise money for the James Paget Hospital�s Eye Clinic through an art exhibition. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

There's nothing Phil Lynes enjoys more than to set his armchair up at an idyllic spot on the Norfolk coast and to paint the breathtaking views he sees in front of him.

Phil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to raise money for the James Paget Hospital�s Eye Clinic through an art exhibition. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodPhil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to raise money for the James Paget Hospital�s Eye Clinic through an art exhibition. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

But, two and half years ago the 63-year-old's world came crashing down as he started to lose vision in his left eye.

The prospect of never being able to paint again was bad enough but not being able to watch his grandchildren grow up didn't bare thinking about.

It was inconceivable.

"It was a really tough period for myself and my family," Mr Lynes said.

Phil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to raise money for the James Paget Hospital�s Eye Clinic through an art exhibition. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodPhil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to raise money for the James Paget Hospital�s Eye Clinic through an art exhibition. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

"You just hope everything is going to be alright because the thought of going blind is just unbearable."

The 63-year-old was gardening at his home in Caister when the sight in his left eye started to deteriorate.

He said: "My vision was just going darker and darker and I was really struggling to see.

"It was frightening."

Following a successful operation on a detached retina at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) Mr Lynes thought his eyesight problems had been solved.

However, in March this year he began to lose vision in his right eye.

"I couldn't believe it. It was when I was on a plane back from Tenerife I noticed how bad it was," he said.

"Everything was going really dark and I could hardly see."

Mr Lynes once again found himself undergoing an operation at the JPUH to save his eyesight after his retina had been torn in 12 places.

Although hospital staff thought it was too late to stop him from going blind, they performed a number of operations on his eyes, all of which were successful.

He said: "When I woke up and realised my eyesight had been saved I was just relived.

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"This was followed by pure jubilation.

"You take your vision for granted but being able to see properly really is quite magical."

As a way of thanking the caring and compassionate staff at the JPUH who completed four successful operations on his eyes, Mr Lynes has organised an arts exhibition which will take place in the new year.

People will be able to buy the paintings with the money raised going to the hospital.

The 63-year-old has already received more than 60 pieces of artwork for his exhibition but is keen to add to the collection.

Anyone who wants to donate a painting of any kind should drop it off at his store Northgate Hardware at 82 Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth.

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