Dr Amit Patel is an author, disability rights campaigner, motivational speaker and independent accessibility consultant. He is registered severely sight impaired (blind) having lost his sight to keratoconus in 2013.
Amit studied medicine Cambridge and qualified as a doctor, specialising in emergency medicine and major incidents. During medical school, Amit was diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition which changes the shape of your corneas, but which is usually easily treated with a corneal transplant. However, Amit was one of the rare individuals for whom the transplants rejected and despite travelling to the US for ground-breaking surgery, Amit lost his sight completely just one year after getting married.
Since then, Amit has been on a journey to learn to live with his sight loss, from learning how to make a cup of tea again to walking using a white cane. Once getting to grips with the basics himself, Amit set out to help others who were new to sight loss, through volunteering with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and Guide Dogs for the Blind. Amit is now an active campaigner for accessibility, diversity and inclusion, speaking out against the issues that disabled people face daily.
In September 2014, and after only 6 weeks on the waiting list, Amit was matched to his first Guide Dog, Kika, a white Labrador. Together, Amit and Kika travel through London and its surrounds on a daily basis, charting their journeys, challenges and the people they meet on their travels via their Twitter accounts (@Kika_GuideDog and @BlindDad_UK) and Instagram (@Kika_GuideDog).
Amit has appeared in various online and print media in the UK and around the world, as well as featuring on BBC London News, ITV London News, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News and Sky Sunrise. He is a regular contributor to the BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 4, BBC 5 Live and BBC London Radio.
Amit’s first book, ‘Kika & Me’ is published by Pan Macmillan. Amit is married to Seema and they have 2 children alongside his Guide Dog Kika, who is 6 years old.