Great Southern resident Serge was a school bus driver, until about two years ago. The side effects of prescribed medication, combined with a hereditary condition, cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) (link opens in new window) caused a sudden and unexpected vision loss that left him legally blind.
Serge lost the central vision in his eyes and now has limited peripheral vision. His vision loss was life-changing and it has affected every aspect of his life. He was afraid to go out and was becoming increasingly isolated. His confidence was shattered and he feared for his independence.
Then last year, Serge was matched to Guide Dog Winston. Since Winston became part of his family, Serge hasn’t looked back. He says his confidence has soared as he has regained his freedom and independence.
These days, he and his faithful Guide Dog Winston regularly catch the TransWA bus to Perth, where Serge plays lawn bowls for the Vision Impaired and Blind Bowlers of Western Australia. Winston has helped Serge out of many tricky situations.
“After getting off the bus in Perth one day, I didn’t get the directions to the hotel
quite right, but Winston remembered and took me straight there” Serge says, with pride.
Winston, he says, has a few preferred routes.
“When we’re at Perth train station, he always tries to take me to platform 4 which
goes to the Guide Dogs WA training centre in Victoria Park!”
The two have become inseparable.
“Without Winston, I don’t know where I’d be: probably just sitting at home and not wanting to go out.”
Thanks to wonderful supporters like you, Serge has been able to reclaim his freedom and independence and enjoy living life to the full. Your generosity supported Winston through every stage of his training and made a life-changing difference to another Western Australian. Thank you!