Pan Mac signs memoir by doctor who lost his sight

Claire Coughlan
Rights - NonFiction Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Dr Amit Patel tells story of how he bonded with his guide dog, Kika

Charlotte Wright, editor at Pan Macmillan, has signed a book by Dr Amit Patel, a trauma doctor who lost his sight but whose life as a blind person was transformed by his guide dog, Kika. Pan Mac has world English rights from Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton, and will publish in February 2020.

In 2013, Patel was working as a trauma doctor when a condition called keratoconus caused him to lose his sight within 36 hours. His life changed forever. "Struggling to make even a cup of tea and terrified of stepping outside with a white cane after a number of traumatic travel experiences, he refused to leave home on his own for almost three months. Until his guide dog Kika came along."

Patel and Kika now travel through London and its surroundings each day, charting at Kika's Twitter account their journeys, challenges and the people they meet. One of their videos went viral in 2018 after a commuter rudely asked them to move on a Tube escalator.

Patel said: "When I lost my sight I felt I was mourning the loss of the person I once was. It wasn't only my sight that was taken from me but also my confidence, my independence, my drive and my passion for life. I was lucky enough to have an incredible wife by my side who helped me get back on my feet, and then I met my guide dog Kika, and then everything really started to fall into place. The opportunity to tell my story is an incredible one and I hope that it will not only help to challenge perceptions of disability but also give hope to those going through tough times in their life."

Wright said: "I knew as soon as I met Amit that I wanted to publish his book. His positivity and enthusiasm immediately resonated with me and his partnership with Kika is wonderful to watch. His story is truly inspirational and is a lesson to us all that, whatever our circumstances, we should live life to the fullest extent possible."

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