Scott and Milo
Growing up on a farm, Scott always knew he wanted to be a farmer. But when he lost his sight his life changed dramatically. Worried how he would continue to look after his two young daughters, the family reached out to Guide Dogs. Now paired with guide dog Milo, Scott has the confidence to pursue new studies, a new career and is now on the way to representing his country in judo at the highest level of the sport. It’s not the life he dreamed of, it’s one he could never have possibly imagined!
Scott started losing his sight a few years ago, experiencing a slow deterioration as a complication from diabetes. But in 2019 whilst working as a dairy farmer his sight suddenly went cloudy.
Scott was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. He struggled to adjust to life with sight loss. He felt he’d lost his independence, and unable to work or be as hands on with his children, his purpose too. From once being active and always outdoors, he spent more time inside the house.
“I remember quite early on my wife went out and left the TV on for me as background noise. It was on a timer and at some point it went off. And I just sat on the sofa in the kitchen for hours in silence too scared to move. I didn’t feel safe.”
Reaching out to Guide Dogs
But things began to change when the family reached out to Guide Dogs. Scott loves animals, so applying for a guide dog felt like the perfect thing to help him build confidence and independence. In 2020 he was matched with golden retriever Milo. “When I am walking with Milo it’s like a weight has been lifted. I put all my trust in Milo because he is only focused on one thing, keeping me safe.”
And Milo’s impact has reached beyond just guiding. Scott’s wife Amanda says: “Life throws you a curve ball sometimes. And this was ours. But this wonderful dog [Milo] has made Scott happy again and taken our lives in a different direction. I don’t have to worry anymore because I know Scott is happy, and the girls are happy. Happiness is what Milo has brought to us.”
Retraining to help more people living with sight loss
As Scott and Milo’s partnership developed, with renewed confidence Scott decided to return to college. He has since completed a university degree and is about to start a Masters training as a counsellor to help others going through sight loss. “The thought of somebody being left, not knowing where to turn or who to speak to makes me feel really sad. I want to be that person who can help them, and give them someone to speak to and through.”
With the renewed confidence of having Milo by his side, Scott looked for a new hobby and began judo training. In two short years of competing he has been selected to join the Paralympics Potential Squad for 2028. “When I step onto the mat, the disability just disappears. It’s the only sport where world class players train together – sighted or non-sighted.” Scott is now hoping to represent Paralympics GB in Los Angeles games in 2028, with Milo by his side working hard at the gym and training most days to make that dream a reality. “I'm proud. I'm proud from where I was to where I've come to now.”
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