Thank you for saving my sight - Art lover's praise for hospital staff

Phil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to

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 through an art exhibition. - Credit: Archant

As an artist and a loving grandfather the prospect of losing his sight filled Phil Lynes with horror.

The hardware shop owner and arts lover faced going blind in both eyes due to detached retinas. 

But thankfully, Mr Lynes, 66 and from Caister, can carry on his hobby and watch his seven grandchildren grow up due to the efforts of an "amazing" set of NHS staff. 

In 2016 he had been gardening at his home when he started to lose sight in his left eye due to a detached retina - leading to an emergency operation.

Then two years later while returning from Tenerife on holiday he started to lose the sight in his right eye, leading to another emergency operation to repair a detached retina.

The art lover is now organising an exhibition to thank the staff at the James Paget University Hospital who saved his eye sight on both occasions.

The Art for Eyes exhibition is at the Minster in Great Yarmouth between Saturday, April 30 and Friday, May 6.

It will feature more than 270 pieces of art by more than 60 different artists and is raising funds for the Gorleston hospital.

Phil Lynes has had two operations on both eyes after he started to lose his vision. He now wants to

Phil Lynes is thanking the hospital through the art exhibition he is organising - Credit: Archant

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Mr Lynes, who runs Northgate Hardware in Great Yarmouth with his brother,  had planned to hold the fundraising exhibition in March 2020 at the Minster - but that was cancelled due to the Covid lockdown.

But the father of four is delighted he can now stage the exhibit as a thank you to the hospital.

He said: "I am so grateful to the staff there. They were amazing.

"This is my way of saying a big thank you to the hospital, and staff of the ophthalmology department and Windsor suite. 

"These medical teams have allowed me to live a normal life and appreciate all one sees and sometimes take for granted.

"Without their skills I would now be totally blind.

"It was disappointing to cancel the exhibition in 2020 as a lot of effort had been put into it."

People will be able to buy the pieces of art at the exhibition, with all proceeds going to the James Paget.

Mr Lynes has provided dozens of his own paintings for it.

It is open 10am to 4pm, except for Sunday, April 31, when it is open 11am to 5pm.