Tiggi Trethowan, 65, who lost sight in her right eye 15 years ago and has only 6% vision left in her left eye, plans to take a round-the-world tour to create a “visual memory list” before losing her eyesight altogether.
Doctors have described Trethowan’s eyesight as “hanging off a cliff edge by dental floss which could break at any time”.
Trethowan’s bucket list includes destinations such as Costa Rica, Antarctica and another visit to Dirk Hartog Island in Australia, which has a population of 9 people.
Trethowan said she still stores memories from this trip in her brain and will “actually always physically stop and click [her] eyes almost like a camera and consciously store it as a mental photograph”.
Trethowan said her “absolute life” is her guide dog Jackie, who is a black labrador.
Before losing her eyesight, Trethowan was a passionate traveler.
“I realized that the opportunities others have of being able to look at a beautiful painting or look at pictures in a photo album when my sight was completely gone would not be an option.
“My choices were to climb into bed, put the duvet over me and never get up again, or get up and revisit places I have loved and people I have loved.”
Trethowan urged people with concerns about losing their sight to “never give up, never give in”.
She stated: “It’s a diagnosis. Yes, it could potentially be life-limiting, but it is not life-threatening. It is simply a form of renavigation.”
“I literally lost my home, I couldn’t drive any more, I was nearly bankrupt because I couldn’t pay the bills.”
“But after coming to terms with it, I realized that losing my sight has given me more than it has taken away.”
Trethowan was able to ride on a zipline with the help of a charity she is an ambassador of. She said her lack of eyesight helped her with this experience.
“I literally threw myself into it and the good thing about being blind is that I can’t see where the ground is, so it didn’t really matter.
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