When John Tovey lost his sight at the age of 42, he thought his life was over. He was wrong, it was just beginning. John had followed a bad path drifting in and out of trouble.
He was sent to improvement schools, a young offenders institute and eventually a prison. John was on self-destruct and thought nothing or no one could help him. Then he became the victim of a vicious attack by a notorious train 'steaming' gang.
John knew he had to take the witness stand. He bravely gave evidence which helped put the men behind bars but just as he'd started to turn his life around for the better, fate dealt him another blow and John went blind overnight. He lost everything, his sight, his job and his home.
Scared and alone, John asked for help and, thanks to Guide Dogs for the Blind, was introduced to a bouncy black labrador called Dez. Dez brought colour and light back into John's life and slowly he learned how to live again. It was a partnership made in heaven and in 2012; Dez won the coveted 'Guide Dog of the Year' award.
With his loyal dog by his side, John stepped out of the shadows and back into the light.