Dan Is Flying High!

Dan Carpenter shares his inspirational story- never let keratoconus stop you achieving your goals!



Having been a Commercial Pilot since 2005. I was sad to be diagnosed with keratoconus back in 2008 by the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.

This is where I first met Sophie Taylor Wood. I was under her care there until she set up her new practice Taylor West and Sloan, in Hove.
I stayed under the hospital for eye care but sadly lost my aviation medical due to quick progression of the KC in 2014. I visited Moorfields in London who advised they could do no more on improving my vision. I thought my flying days were over and slowly came to terms with the fact that I would never fly again and would need to find a new career path.

I decided to go and visit Sophie in her in new practice “Taylor West & Co” in Hove to see if she could help. We tried many lens, from many different manufactures, from all over the world and after a couple of months Sophie finally found the solution.


AMAZING!!! I passed the Class 1 aviation medical required to get back flying in 2015 and finally i was back flying the Airbus A320 out of Gatwick for Thomas Cook Airlines. Without Sophie, my life would have severely changed.


Not only professionally but my every day life, as my vision was becoming very poor. In 2016, I signed up to Sophie’s eye plan costing just £20 per month which means I can see her as much as l like for appointments and support at short notice. Something that would normally cost a small fortune.

I continue to see Sophie on a regular basis to keep a check on my eye condition and lens fit. And once a year to have my eye assessment for my annual medical for the Civil Aviation Authority.


I would highly recommend Taylor West and Co to anyone who needs eye care and specialist lens fitting.

Well done to Sophie and the team!

An experienced lens fitter, Sophie developed a keen interest in lenses for keratoconus, post graft and post refractive surgery corneas. She worked at Moorfields Eye Hospital as a specialist optometrist in the contact lens clinic for 2 years, and spent a further two years at Sussex Eye Hospital fitting contact lenses.

Now in her own practice in Hove, East Sussex, Sophie genuinely enjoys the challenges that come with dealing with diseased, damaged and ‘awkward’ eyes and gets an enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction in helping those people who struggle to see anything at all without lenses and transforming their sight. 

Check out Sophie Taylor-West here 

Taylor-West & Co Optometrists

80 Church Road, Hove BN3 2EB

01273 567475


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