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16 October 2014

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Never Give Up

By Roy Grant
October 2006, Newport
A digital story from Capture Wales

Seeing the blind

Roy's life is turned upside down when he loses his sight.

"Never give up no matter how hard it gets.

I had just lit up my pipe, when a drop of red liquid began to spread rapidly across my sight. It was shocking, so I got up and ran to the bathroom, removed the glasses and washed my face. That ought to do it, I thought.

But my vision was blocked by blood, and to my horror I could not see.

I shouted and screamed for someone's help. The shock in my voice sent my wife running. She called for a taxi and off we went the hospital. A man who had lost sight in one eye as a child, was on the verge of losing the other.

There was nothing the doctors could do, so I was sent home.

Like a child I had to be led wherever I went. Crossing the road was a nightmare, only the smells and sounds gave any sense to my independence. My God, I was blind. I wondered how long would it last. There was a little light filtering into my eye but I could not actually see anyone, only the road map of the inner eye.

As time went on my confidence sagged, and trusting strangers became my greatest fear. I struggled to survive for five long years travelling from one hospital to another having operations with little success.

However, good friends and family help me to live the life God had intended.

And eventually the last operation worked and sight was restored.

It was a very challenging time but thank God I never gave up."

Roy Grant

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Jamaica, sent to the UK one month before my twentieth birthday, a child by law. At the age of two, by accident, I lost sight in one eye, which did not hinder my ambition in becoming a precision engineer, regardless of the taunts I had endured. Arriving in a country as a black disabled child at a time when hostility against black and disable people was rampant, life became far more difficult than the current care permits. It took guts and dogged determination to climb the achieving ladder. Many people of this category, become bogged down by over-prescribed information that education and technology required, which sometime erodes their confidence. Not feeling able to keep up it becomes an easy option, to slip into obscurity or give up.

What's your story about?
The decision I've taken to aim high, will hopefully, encourage others to do likewise.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
It is difficult to explain to the person next door how gratifying it is to have the full attention of highly qualified professionals working with you with such humbling persona. Because, words or gestures cannot accurately convey the true feeling without he or she have experienced the result. I am truly happy to have taken part because the result means, there is now a visual as well as written legacy, which should enhanced my heritage.

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