Mateusz worked for Barker Ross Milton Keynes branch back in 2016. We always received very good feedback from our clients about him and he has always been a positive and helpful person.
After working for us in one of our client's warehouse he was offered a permanent job at Domino’s Pizza. Even though he no longer worked for us he continued to keep in touch, popping in to say hello and always recommending us to new candidates that had arrived in England looking for work.
On the 17th of July 2017 everything changed for Mateusz, he started loosing his sight in both eyes very quickly.
The doctors were unsure what had caused this and after doing some tests they said there was nothing they could do for him at that stage as they couldn’t establish the cause.
Traveling across UK and seeing different doctors was a long process yet Mateusz remained positive saying that he still had sight in his other eye and continued working in Domino’s.
Unfortunately by the end of July last year, he had lost sight in both eyes. Jadwiga from our Milton Keynes Industrial branch remembers the day that she found out, “Mateusz had popped into our office and asked to speak directly with me, I went to our reception but he didn’t recognise me, asking my colleague Angel when I would come to reception yet I was stood right near him. It was heart breaking to see him so lost and upset."
On 28th of July Mateusz went to work for the last time. His doctor had asked him to finish earlier but it was busy in his Domino’s and he didn’t want to let them down, this shows the type of person he is, extremely hard working and very loyal.
At the end of July he went back to his doctors to obtain a sick note and at this stage he was diagnosed with Leber's Optic Neuropathy. This is a hereditary condition which causes the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons that leads to an acute or subacute loss of central vision; this affects predominantly young adult males. http://www.lhonsociety.org/about-lhon
Following on from this devastating diagnosis Mateusz still needed to support himself financially. Following advice from his doctor he travelled to another part of England to see a consultant who specialised in Lebers optic neuropathy to see if they could help. The specialist said that as he wasn’t a UK National he needed to complete some paperwork to allow him to have funding for treatment on the NHS that would control his illness and give him his sight back. He came to our office and asked us for help with that. One of us completed all of the paperwork for him.
Unfortunately Mateusz was unable to have this treatment funded through the NHS.
Mateusz was now unable to afford to live here and was unable to claim benefits or NHS treatment so he had to make the difficult decision to return home to Poland on 28th of August 2017. After meeting with many specialist there he finally found a hospital in Krakow who said they will be able to help him access the medication he needs to give him back his sight. The cost of the medication which is called Raxone costs 9000zl (around £1600).
Mateusz's Doctor has now managed to source a cheaper option called Idebenon which costs 164zl – (£35 for 10 days supply) Initially he will have to travel at least 3 times per month to Krakow from his current home in Przemysl which costs around £20 per time. He cannot apply for benefits in Poland as even though he is now fully blind this does not qualify as being disabled.
Now that he has begun this treatment, his sight is slowly coming back, but it will be at least 6 months before he is able to see fully again and be able to return to work to support himself and his family.
Mateusz is just 25 years old and losing his sight at such a young age over something that can be treated so easily is just shocking. He just wants to live a normal life again.
We would like him to be one of our 30 acts of kindness for this year. We cant imagine being in the situation he is in so would like to raise enough money for him to have his treatment for a year to enable him to get back on his feet and support the costs himself. To do this we need to raise around £1,600. This is not a lot of money to give a young man his life back.
We have set up JustGiving page for him where you can make some donations.
We can help him together!