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Seeing the colour of life: Denis’ story

Denis and one of his replica shipsAt 80, Denis Paraskevatos is continuing his lifelong passion for building replica ships, thanks to eye research.

The retired naval engineer combines extensive historical research and intricate handiwork to build museum-quality ships that have attracted acclaim in Australia and internationally.

But after losing sight in his right eye to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2002, he relies heavily on his left eye and a magnifying glass to continue his craft.

The regular injections preserving his sight, now standard treatment for ‘wet’ AMD, are the result of many years of clinical research.

CERA’s Professor Robyn Guymer AM was part of the early international trials which proved the treatments were effective – and further research to refine clinical protocols and better individualise treatments.

Denis says he will never forget Professor Guymer’s work to save his sight.

“Not having vision curtails your activities and you can’t participate in the community in the way you desire,” he says.

“It takes away the colour of life, it prevents you from seeing a face – and a face tells you a lot about a person.”