Sep 09 2019
'He saw me when I was born, but his sight faded after that' - the reality of growing up with a blind parent
When she was growing up, everyone used to tell Anna Shiels-McNamee her dad was nothing short of amazing.
This confused her. To Anna, her father seemed pretty ordinary – he worked 9-5 and watched Coronation Street in the evening.
After a while she realised the word ‘amazing’ was code for her father’s disability – his blindness.
“I used to think ‘he’s not amazing, he’s just blind’,” she said.
Anna’s father John was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in his teens; a degenerative condition which caused him to gradually lose his sight from his early 20s onwards.
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