A former publican has described his joy after being given back the gift of sight in a cutting-edge surgery at Norfolk's biggest hospital.

Paul Mainwaring, who has been registered as blind for the past year, has become the first patient to undergo a new type of cornea transplant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Mr Mainwaring, 65, lost his sight last year after suffering scarring in both his corneas - changing the lives of him and his wife Maggie, 74.

He said: "The last year has been horrible - I've gone from being my wife's toy boy to her being my carer and having to do everything for me.

"Before I lost my sight we used to share all the cooking, all the cleaning, everything equally - so for her to suddenly have to do everything was devastating."

Mr Mainwaring, of Dersingham, said that before the surgery all he could see was "black and dark grey" - but following the procedure, he was now seeing colours again and can recognise his wife's face again.

He said: "I've been able to walk around Sainsbury's with Maggie's help without bumping into people, which sounds like a small thing but isn't to me.

"Last week I came to hospital and walked from the waiting area to the clinic room unaided, which I haven't been able to for 12 months."

Eastern Daily Press:

The operation was carried out by Chrishan Gunasekera, a consultant ophthalmologist from the N&N, who Mr Mainwaring said he was "in awe of".

While his vision is still severely impaired, Mr Mainwaring is now hopeful that if his recovery continues he will be able to have a cataracts operation to fully restore his sight.

Mr Gunasekera said: "It's brilliant that we can now offer this type of surgery to people across Norfolk and Waveney."

Mr Mainwaring added: "I'm so grateful for everything Mr Gunasekera has done."