Sarah led a busy, outdoor life. From climbing
mountains with her children, running local Brownie groups, going on camping
holidays, to working on a community book bus. She could not be slowed down.
Even when she did relax it involved jetting off abroad or visiting hectic
In November 2017 Sarah was involved in a serious road traffic collision and suffered severe injuries that changed her life forever. Leaving the hospital 5 months later, she was now weaker, requiring extensive physiotherapy, “felt slower”, and the collision left her with homonymous hemianopia, a condition that completely removes the right vision of the eyes.
The incident completely changed Sarah’s life. “I couldn’t drive, couldn’t’ live alone. I couldn’t even cook. When I tried to make a sandwich, I ended up cutting myself or falling over.” Worst of all, she felt isolated. “My son lives in Brighton, but I couldn’t get down to see him. I was stuck in my house not living.”
A fortunate visit to Leicester Royal Infirmary “completely changed my life”, she says. Sarah went to get register herself as visually impaired and was surprised when Vista rehabilitation officer Fiona showed up at her home to help. “I was reluctant to get any help. I didn’t accept that I needed it, or even know what help was available”, but Fiona “changed my life straight from the first week”.
Fiona showed Sarah small things that would help her get around on her own and regrow her independence. “Fiona helped me, gave me a life. Vista have done that for me. I make the most of what I’ve got.” Sarah now goes out shopping on her own, using her white cane that Fiona showed her how to use. “I’m not scared going out anymore. People can recognize that I’m blind and give me space.”
Fiona is very thankful for Vista and Fiona, not just for the help she’s given but also how she helped to change her outlook. “It’s opened my eyes, if you’ll excuse the pun. It’s all attitude, and Vista have really helped me realise I can do this. Life can get better, and I am the proof.”
Sarah is determined not to be slowed down. “Fiona and I are going on a train soon, so I can learn how to do it. Then I’ll go back down to London hopefully”. But that’s not Sarah’s goal. “Next year I want to go back abroad. If I can do a train I can do a jet.”
“You don’t just have to live, but you can have a life. Vista and Fiona have helped so much in getting my life back together.”
To find out more, visit our rehabilitation page.