Viewer Comments

Image of multiple tvs with scenes from Going Blind

In January I was diagnosed with diabetic macular edema, the leading cause of blindness among diabetics. Reeling from the news I immediately thought of suicide rather than living without my sight. Fortunately, a friend told me about your documentary and I immediately purchased viewing rights. Watching your film was encouraging and uplifting. I felt less isolated because you knew/know what it is like. I want to express my gratitude for your willingness to document such a personal experience that impacts so many people. Thank you. –Anonymous, Seattle, WA

I just wanted to let you know what a terrific movie “Going Blind” is. I saw it just now on WGBH 44, here in Boston. I am not going blind, but have several friends that either already are or are going blind from various causes. My mom is also going blind from maccular (spelling?) degeneration, so it was enlightening to me to learn something about how she must be feeling.
I just thought you should know that it was a tremendous source of comfort and an education for me and many other viewers, I’m sure! –Mary Martin, Boston, MA

I just finished watching Going Blind and wanted to drop you a note to say that it’s an exceptional piece of film making — its accessible, informative and empowering — and want you to know that it resonates with me, quite deeply, on a personal level…I have been walking the divide between the hearing world and the deaf world for some time. Your experience is similar; you mention having one foot in the seeing world and another in the blind world in the film. This frustration is incredibly real for so many people with progressive sensory loss; the stigma, the anxiety, the pervasive fear, the constant reevaluation of challenges and obstacles… and the depression. But one of the key take-home messages of your film profound buttressed a basic fact I tend to forget — all we can really be concerned about is where we’re at today and not waste valuable energy worrying about what may or may not come. –Tim Horn, New York, NY

Fantastic movie! I just watched it via Amazon instant video. I have had glaucoma for more than twenty years and am now at the point where my doctor informed me that my sight can go at any time. Even with the treatments and surgeries, I am not under control. Naturally I have a lot of fear and a million questions about getting along without my sight, and this film has shown me that a productive life is possible. I am truly grateful this film was made. Thank you to everyone involved. –Sharon McGuire

It was a wonderful movie that highlights one of the most neglected areas of our clinical practice “the patient”. In our fast paced world and our infinite need to cater to the mass we often forget that our patient is a bundle of emotions and needs and not just a bag of organs. –Dr.Charanya Ramachandran, Postdoctoral Fellow, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India

I saw your terrific film “GOING BLIND” on Pbs. I’m slowing losing sight in my right eye that has been effected by radiation treatments I had for NHL lymphoma 7 years ago for cancer of the eye. My left eye does a lot of the work for the right. I had no idea that there were so many devices to aid one in growing more confident in the ability to cope with the daily activities we have to do. I have had to change many things in my life because of my sight issue, has not been easy to accept that I cannot do things that I once did. Thank you for doing this compassionate and informative production. –Gale Mangini, Westover, MD

I especially appreciated that [Going Blind] tastefully covered this disability from many vantage points including different ages, various degrees of visual impairment, several diagnoses and even various stages of adjustment. Additionally, the film showed blind people engaged in many aspects of daily life—traveling, cooking, working and socializing. And I noted the fact that no one cookie-cutter approach was touted. For instance, guide dog users and cane travelers were both portrayed. While the blind and visually impaired participants were not depicted as Pollyanna’s, they were nevertheless shown in a positive light despite frustration and difficulties. As a woman who herself is blind, I tend to be more critical of this type of material. Not this time: I am impressed with this film and strongly wish it could be more widely circulated to the public. More accurate info re blindness and visual impairment and how blind people manage with a disability is sorely needed. –Linda Mamrosh, New York, NY

I just watched “Going Blind” and wanted to say thank you. Over the last year I lost most of the sight in my left eye to a full retinal detachment caused by lattice degeneration. I still have full sight in my right eye but I am in danger of losing the sight in that eye too. I’ve had to give up most of my favorite physical activities because they trigger bleeding in my right eye. I spent many years, working in the field of 3D and stereo graphics, even holograms. But, I can no longer see them. I was sitting here this morning feeling sorry for myself and decide to watch your film. It has been on my DVR for quite a while. I no longer feel sorry for myself, I feel like an idiot, optimistic, but foolish. Being reminded to “do what you can with what you have” sounded so much like me I would have hit myself if the head except I’m not supposed to do that! Losing half my sight is harder than anything I’ve been through before and your film helped me see how badly it has been twisting me away from being me. –Bob Pendleton, Austin, TX

I saw the film on my local PBS station WFYI in Indianapolis. My 45 yr old son has optic neuritis and has lost vision in both eyes. He has started working with low vision organizations. He is scared. Your film was helpful to me and I will purchase a copy for my family. A door has opened for my son and I….Thank you for making this have my support. –Deana McGivern, Indianapolis, IN

I had a lot of resistance to watching the film since going blind is a deeply disturbing possibility. The information in the film helped me realize that I could continue my life should I go blind, that there is help available and options to pursue . . . It’s pretty clear that most of us have anxiety at the prospect of vision loss. It’s the great unknown: will I be safe? how will I manage? Your film is the first glimpse I’ve been given at how to manage such a scenario and I commend you for putting your life journey out there for people to learn from. I hope many people watch it and have their fears allayed! –Kathleen Patton, Quebec, Canada

I have often thought that the medical community’s approach actually works against raising awareness of the truly debilitating nature of glaucoma. They fear scaring all patients and so the progressing patients are left on an island feeling that they are the misfits. We can feel powerless and, even more important, without any voice. Your movie gives us a voice . . . You validated my experience and give me hope… going blind is real and we need to fight it, but I am assured that we can handle it. Thank you for this movie. –Susanne Gerson, Cambridge, MA

I recently saw your documentary PBS. I have diabetes and the topic was of interest to me. The story and information presented was amazing. The section on the blind veterans moved me to tears. Good job. –Dave Femine

I just saw your movie last night and it is breathtaking. I have glaucoma and lost sight in one eye and eighty percent in left. Without contacts, I’m mostly housebound and as the disease progressed, have learned to deal with it. I just had to say your movie meant the world to me as I didn’t feel alone with someone explaining what we go through. . . Bless you a million times and ways. –Teena Guendling

Thank you so much for putting this film together. It really spoke to me as a person who lives with vision loss, and I appreciated the honesty with which vision loss was approached in the production . . . Thank you for this wonderful film. I hope to show it to my family and friends in the hopes that will help them understand some of my experience better. –Luis Perez

Before seeing your movie, I didn’t know low vision therapy even existed. And considering how many eye appointments I’ve been to, I find that shocking. It’s like there is no occupational therapy equivalent for people who are losing their sight. Bottom line is that your film helped to dispel some of the huge fears my family has been dealing with for so long. Thank you. –Tori Santoro, Boston, MA

Today I watched your film, Going Blind. There are no words. Great film…My mom suffered with vision loss before her death this year. I went thru the process with her but learned more from your film than from her docs over the past 18 months…You continue to help people. –Jacquie Farmer

People in this, a Glaucoma group, could relate to your story and identify with it; they were totally involved in the goings on on screen…Hearing the applause at the end, seeing the emotions on their faces, and listening to them relate their stories to you just reinforced how moving an experience this film was for these people, myself included…What blows me away is that there is such a need for this kind of talking support yet it’s not offered enough, or if it is, people often don’t take advantage of it. (I don’t mean a psychotherapy session; I mean a group session with other Glaucoma patients.) At least that’s been the experience in the support group. I’ve been trying to change that for years; now it’s starting to gain momentum. Hopefully this screening will have provided an impetus to people to open up about their Glaucoma issues, especially the emotional and psychological ones, which you so eloquently express. –Ann Bially, NYC, NY

I think in blind services we sometimes become so acclimated to vision loss that we may not take the struggles people are going through as seriously as we need to. We need to be more intentional in how we address acceptance and adjustment – not just expecting adjustment to fall on them when they learn a few skills…Your video is very helpful in this regard…I find it very helpful to bring people back to the heart of where people are when they find out they are losing their vision. –B.J. LeJeune, Mississippi State University, MS

Going Blind was heart-wrenching yet encouraging. Every day, I feel lost as a mother who is sighted trying to create this world for her blind son. It was tough to watch peoples’ personal accounts on losing their vision but it allowed me some insight into the different resources available. I cannot imagine the strength it takes to live each day to the fullest while losing vision. My view of the world is based largely on what I see and I often find myself upset because my son’s idea of the world will be based on his other senses and resources…With the most sincere gratitude, thank you for sharing your story! You made this real. The emotion in your voice and the other characters really connected with me…You have really touched my heart today and I cannot wait to share Going Blind with my family and friends. –Amber Elia, Frederick, MD

Wonderful film. Very informative. My sister suffered a severe vision loss this past year. Even though I’ve been with her to see a low vision specialist, I learned a lot form this film. It’s very encouraging for those with these challenges and I think just as importantly helps loved ones and friends have a better understanding of what the patient is dealing with. –Rene Emery Dees

I am 42 years old and going blind in my left. The movie exactly shares how I feel and how I have been trying to survive. I hope now to find and prepare for more blindness. I live in Pittsburgh area. I totally understand the pain of a scratched corea. It is worse than labor. I have had 20 eye injections. Thanks for getting it perfecty right and sharing what I could not put into words! –Tara Magill Gates, Pittsburgh, PA

I have early stage glaucoma and have been depressed and terrified of the thought of losing my vision. Although I recorded it some time ago it took me several months to gain the courage to even watch this wonderful film. I was so moved and inspired by the stories of courage and determination of the amazing people in this movie. It has helped me put things in perspective and given me hope for the future, whatever it may hold. Thank you Joe Lovett for helping me understand the many dimensions of blindness and for opening my eyes to the options available as sight fails. It has given me a sense of peace and a determination to appreciate what I have today rather than worrying what I may lose tomorrow. –Margaret Gilbert

I watched the film Going Blind last night on PBS. I was very moved by the film. I am currently going to school as a part time student where I am enrolled in Health Information Technology. We just finished studying about the eyes and vision. I am 55 years old and have had poor vision since I was a child. I have myopia and without my glasses or contact lenses I am only able to see a few inches…One of the segments that had an impact on me was Jessica Jone’s story. I have been interested in art since I was a young child…My dream is to spend my time creating artwork and playing music when I retire. But in the back of my mind I have considered the possibility that I may lose much of my vision. If that were to happen I woulnd’t want to give up on doing artwork or playing music. Jessica’s moving story on her work with children gave me inspiration that poor vision does not have to interfere with a person’s ability to experience art. Thank you for creating this wonderful film. I’m sure it will reach many people. I hope to order a copy if it is available. Thank you. –Jeff Kopseng

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your movie. I just happened upon it while flipping the channels looking for something to watch. It was a God send. I was diagnosed with glaucoma when I was 5 years old. That diagnosis has sent me on a journey including surgeries for glaucoma, cataracts, corneal transplants, etc. etc. I am now 50 and amazingly still have vision in one eye well enough to drive and work. I (foolishly?) went to law school and became a criminal defense attorney, and only within the last 5 or so years have had to really face the possibility of going blind in my “good” eye. I keep asking myself if I will be able to continue in that work when?if I lose my good eye. Talk about “blind justice.” Your movie was both informative and inspiring. I want all my friends and family to see it, especially those I work with. –David McDuffie, Oxnard, CA

I’m an ophthalmic tech who has seen the movie, and also attended the [JCAHPO] Stein Lecture, yesterday. It has definitely made me ask myself, “Am I giving patients what they need” in the way of education, empathy, and sincerity. Thank you for recognizing, and bringing to light, the technician’s role in this! –John Moran Eye Center Technician Education, Salt Lake City, UT

I watched the film and was amazed at how it clarified low vision issues and addressed the underlying pathophysiology…the film gave [my students] information about devices and the world of those with visual impairments so that they can more fully help them live their lives as fully as possible –Dr. Susan Young, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Just watched the movie and wanted to thank you! I myself have RP and the movie was very moving, informative, and inspiring. I plan to tell family and friends to watch it so that they can get a better understanding of what it’s like to have low vision or be blind. Thanks again!! –Kelley Trapasso