Author Ken Brandt has had six eye operations, including a detached retina and cataract operation in each eye.
An American-born IT consultant-turned-author credits two Australian ophthalmologists with restoring limited vision in his right eye, allowing him to write a book on his experience living with low vision.
First-time author Mr Ken Brandt’s new book Positive Vision: enjoying the adventures and advantages of poor eyesight, is launching in Australia and internationally on 18 September, and is an upbeat exploration of how he manages life with poor vision.
“I was born premature and had poor vision as a result. I have slightly crossed eyes and have been on a roller coaster with my vision my whole life,” Brandt said, adding he has worn glasses and contact lenses most of his life.
He has had six eye operations, including a detached retina and cataract operation in each eye, and spent parts of his life legally blind.
His most recent cataract operation was in Melbourne in 2010, four years after he and his wife relocated from New York City to Melbourne.
Brandt credits Melbourne cataract surgeon Dr Mark Troski and retinal specialist Dr Daniel Chiu with helping restore his vision. He said he has a check-up with each doctor in alternating years.
“Both had been watching the cataract in my right eye get slowly worse over the years. During a check-up with Dr Chiu he recommended that I see Dr Troski and that now would be a good time to have the
A new book on living with low vision will launch on 18 September.
cataract operation on my right eye. Based on his recommendation I saw Dr Troski, he agreed and performed the successful cataract operation on my right eye,” Brandt said.
Each of his five previous operations took place in the US prior to moving to Australia.
Troski has described Brandt’s book as “a fascinating biography that proves that even with very limited eyesight there is no limit to what you can achieve”.
Prior to retiring and becoming an author, Brandt held senior management and management consulting positions in information technology and information security with firms and clients in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
“I never wanted to discuss my vision or what it was like to live with low vision, until now,” Brandt said.
“I could see much worse than most people realised – worse than everyone else I knew. I didn’t want to discuss it, but after retiring, I felt that my experience might help a lot of people living with low vision,” he said.
The dual American and Australian citizen said he initially showed his book manuscript to 10 friends, and after editing the work based on their feedback, he shared it with 10 more friends, eventually handing it over to a freelance editor for the New York Times.
He hopes optometrists and ophthalmologists will enjoy the adventures and anecdotes and recommend the book to patients living with low vision.
Chiu said Brandt’s book is an exhilarating and uplifting read.
“In Positive Vision, Ken shows us how to look and see, with heaps of humour, from the heart and soul.”
Positive Vision: enjoying the adventures and advantages of poor eyesight will be available to order from local bookstores and all major online booksellers, including Amazon, from 18 September.
Visit www.kenbrandt.com for more information about the book and author.