"It was a rocket attack in Afghanistan that hit the wall that I was leaning against"
Chris had multiple skull fractures, brain injuries and irreparable damage to his eyes – leaving him blinded.
After he lost his sight, Chris changed from being the husband, father and best friend his wife knew and loved to almost a completely different man. To make matters worse, Chris also suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and was utterly disorientated: thinking he was still in the war zone. His wife had just given birth to a baby and the days when he first got home were very difficult.
An Army Welfare Officer put Chris in touch with Blind Veterans UK. He went with his family to one of our training and rehabilitation centres. For the first time, Chris felt welcome and began to understand that his sight loss didn’t have to lead to a loss of independence. Chris began a bespoke programme specifically designed around his complex needs.
With the support of Blind Veterans UK Chris started to cope with everyday life again. The training he received means he can get out and about with a long cane. He can walk safely and independently to his local shop and go in to town with his family. He has also learnt IT skills that have helped him with his memory. And at home, Chris has a special computer so he can continue his training and a scanner to read his post.
Gaining back independence
Chris is now able to cook meals for his wife and children. Little Luke, Adam and Rhys love their Dad so much and are so happy to have a Dad who enjoys playing and who can go for walks to the park.
Despite his sight loss, which continues to deteriorate, Chris is now a professional photographer and helps other blind veterans to overcome the barriers which blindness has put in their paths.
Blind Veterans UK will be there for Chris through his whole life. However, we know that there are 50,000 veterans across the UK who also need our help and we rely on the generosity of the public to help us do this.
“That’s what really gets to you, losing your independence and not being able to do the simple things like making your own cup of tea.”
Blind veteran, Chris