Tom Morey Health Update

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Tom Morey has given so much to the surfing world. Including creating the very craft that this magazine revolves around. Without him there would be no Movement. Despite his many achievements and contributions Tom isn’t living as comfortably as he deserves to be in his old age. Because of this, a fundraising campaign Friends Of Tom Morey’ was launched last year to help with Tom’s health as well as his daily living. This saw vital eye surgery become possible for Tom. Things have been looking positive since then however, as we were pleased to find out when we received this update:


Melinda Morey, Mike Stewart and Seamus McGoldrick have been working tirelessly for the last 18 months to keep the international Friends of Tom Morey campaign going strong. Seamus spoke to Tom and Marchia Morey in early April.

Seamus found the elderly couple were in good spirits at their home in San Clemente and were enjoying the mild weather on the surf side of the southern California coast where Tom grew up surfing. When Seamus asked for an update on his health, Tom had this to say:

“My health and Marchia’s health, I would say, is excellent. Mine is hampered by this vision problem but, my God, it’s clearing up quite a bit thanks to the effort of you folks that have been helping out on the Friends of Tom Morey campaign on Go Fund Me.”

“The operations have enabled me to have about 1 or 2% vision in my left eye and my right eye as of about 2 months ago. I can see pretty well, not pretty good but I can see quite a bit. It’s not pretty good but it’s ok. [This] could not have happened without the help of my friends, your funds and your lovely prayers, thank you, it’s beautiful.”

Tom explained the last time he remembers having good vision. He was driving one day and noticed that when he opened one eye and shut the other that the backgrounds were different: one was coloured and the other was black and white. Little by little, Tom noticed that one eye would fade out, mostly when he was on the computer. Tom was spending 10 – 15 hours per day with his computer making drawings in CAD, translating and recording his ideas to make a catalog.

The ophthalmologist’s diagnosis was that excessive light caused the optic nerve to withdraw. Soon after the diagnosis, driving became an issue. Tom had a collision with another vehicle. Fortunately Tom was only travelling 2 miles per hour. “I was across the double line. It was my fault .. and Marchia ... pulled my driver’s license.” 

Now Tom had a problem with transport and getting from A to B. On top of that, the realities of eye surgery were daunting, to say the least.

Tom says that “many insurance companies think things only take 15 minutes and then you’re going to see terrific and in colour again – now it’s not quite like that.”

“Fortunately, the eye heals up quickly. The ability to recover takes quite a while because your brain is involved. The other thing that happens is that the eyes continue to make up pictures. Since Marchia is driving, I’ve been glancing forward [at the] landscape and when she stops, the landscape is still coming.”

Despite it all, Tom has done extremely well at tackling his problems with his vision and the couple feels fortunate in their situation. It is not perfect, but is certainly improved, and improving with the support of everyone who has donated to the Friends of Tom Morey campaign.

Charity is still a very helpful aspect of the modern world. People gave to the Friends of Tom Morey campaign in the right spirit of giving where everyone was a winner. The eye surgeries took quite a weight off Marchia's shoulders, who was doing everything from laundry and cooking to getting Tom to his numerous medical appointments.

The gratitude Tom feels is palpable when he adds, “I am doing very well and thanks to you folk”.

Donate to help Tom & Marchia here: https://au.gofundme.com/friends-of-tom-morey