Roy Stanley Turman

Diabetic Retinopathy

Poked in his right eye when he was 10, Stan Turman has viewed the world through his left eye ever since. That changed when small blood vessels inside his left eye started to burst, a side effect of diabetes.

One day while reading, a red haze came over his eye. “It just seemed like a waterfall, it just kept flowing and flowing and flowing. And that’s when the fear set in. That sense of being alone in the dark is absolutely overwhelming.”

At first he wanted to be left alone, to stew over his situation. Group counseling sessions at CVI (Center for the Visually Impaired) helped change that. “Coming here helped me look at things totally from a different perspective because I was able to laugh and have fun with people in similar situations. And you found out that the only thing changed in life is that you just can’t see as clear as you used to.”

Stan views his challenge as more mental than physical. “We walk with canes, we stumble, we fall, we bump into things. If I fell, I got back up. If I stumble, I straighten back up.”

Society brands people as damaged goods, according to Stan. “And you’re not. Beautiful minds, you know, we just can’t see as well. But our minds are still sharp, our spirits are strong, and you know, we’re contributing members of society. That’s what I’d like people to know, that we have something still to contribute.”

“I’ve found there’s a correlation physically between the level of stress and my vision. So I make the most of the situations that I have. And there’s nothing better for me than to meet each day with a sense of enjoyment.”

Roy Stanley Turman

What Roy sees


Stan cannot see anything out of his right eye. The vision in his left eye is very blurred and colors appear smeared. In looking at someone two to three feet away, he can see where the eyes and nose on the face are, but he cannot make out any detail. When blood vessels burst in his eye, the bleed area appears as an amber blotch, similar to dye dissolving in water. Floaters sometimes appear as straggly black lines. Any tension Stan feels can cause his blood pressure to rise, which in turn causes his vision to become cloudy. He cultivates a stress-free life to maintain the vision he has.