Transformed vision enables Postman Pat author to read on

Transformed vision enables Postman Pat author to read on

John Cunliffe, is the author of many children’s best-sellers including Postman Pat, Rosie and Jim, amongst many others and is a life-long book lover.

When his deteriorating eyesight threatened his enjoyment of reading he decided to have his cataract removed. John says “If I could not read, life would lose much of its savour!”

John, now aged 81, started his career as a published author in 1964 with ‘Farmer Barnes Buys a Pig.’  He went on to write many other books including picture books, collections of stories about giants and dragons, and several books of poetry.

He also wrote and presented a weekly TV program about books for Border Television, and broadcast frequently on Radio Brighton.

John managed to get his big break when applying for a job as a producer at the BBC. On meeting Cynthia Felgate, the executive producer who interviewed him, he was commissioned to write a new pre-school aged TV series. Postman Pat was born!

Postman Pat became one of the longest running children’s series, and now, 30 years on, episodes are still being made.

John was eventually diagnosed with cataracts, and risking his love of reading he opted for treatment. His first eye was worked on over three years ago, and this year he returned to Optegra Yorkshire Eye hospital to undertake a second cataract procedure

John says: “I was getting to the stage where I would have to stop driving, and working at the computer was becoming increasingly difficult. I might even have had to cut down on my reading.”

The main symptoms of cataracts can be glare from lights, which make night-time driving a challenge, and also blurred vision. Of course, for John, with his passion for books, this was a really big issue.

John’s case shows there is no need to put up with poor vision from cataracts, especially if your hobbies and lifestyle is becoming more difficult. The cataract procedure is simple and can transform lives dramatically.

For John, he had a straightforward procedure with outstanding results.

He says: “I was very impressed with the operation and had no discomfort.  I am not very brave when it comes to pain, but I felt none at all. It was very skilfully done and well organized; I felt I had nothing at all to worry about. I found it very reassuring that Mr Davey talked me through what was going to happen at each stage of the procedure.

“But having gone from the cloudy vision of a cataract to a crystal clear view of the world – it is wonderful when the cataract is gone! The amazing intensity of colours was overwhelming, immediately after the procedure – it was a wonderful experience!”

Married father, John, lives in Ilkley. He can now read to his heart’s content; and every time he opens a book, he says “I mentally send a message of deep gratitude to the surgeons who perform this miracle day after day”.