Kelly's story

Kelly Hart
"No, you've got it wrong, there's no way that's happened - strokes don't happen to people my age."

At the age of 23 Kelly Hart had a stroke that caused her to lose her sight. Since that time she has been supported by Blind Veterans UK

Kelly Hart Find out more

At the age of just 23 Kelly Hart lost her sight and is now supported by Blind Veterans UK for life

 

Kelly served in the Adjutant General's Corp between 1998-2005, before being diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome, or APS. Aged just 23, she had a stroke after the condition caused a blood clot in her brain.


Kelly said: "I remember waking up in the hospital and my doctor telling me I'd had a stroke. My instant reaction was: 'No, you've got it wrong, there's no way that's happened - strokes don't happen to people my age.'


"Just to look at me, you wouldn't know that there was anything wrong, but I have to be very careful about what I do. I have absolutely no peripheral vision because of my APS, though I'm not going to let that deter me from doing the things I want to do."


Kelly is now supported by Blind Veterans UK to live independently with her sight loss. Since 2005, the charity has provided her with free and comprehensive support, including IT training and help to get back to college and retrain for her next career.


Self-confessed action girl Kelly received training, equipment and emotional support from Blind Veterans UK and has also got involved with the sporting activities the charity offers. As a talented footballer before losing her sight, Kelly wanted to keep active and discovered running. She is now in training to run the London Marathon in April and has already completed Blind Veterans UK's 100km walk and has run a whole host of half marathons.


 
Kelly said: "Blind Veterans UK has been fantastic, without the support and all of the information they've given me, I don't know how I would have coped. Initially after losing my sight, I felt very isolated but Blind Veterans UK changed that.


 
"I didn't want losing my sight to stop me from challenging myself so I started running with my local running club. I've always believed that you should do things that challenge you and I didn't want that to change."


 
Kelly also has gone back to college and has already achieved a GCSE in Sociology and is currently studying both Maths and English.


 
Kelly said: "I think my experiences, and those of many other blind veterans, are just some of the proof that shows that the public is right to not think of blindness as an obstacle to living a full and active life."


Our No One Alone aims to reach out to the tens of thousands ex-Service personnel who could be benefiting from our services but they either do not know about Blind Veterans UK or they do not know that they are eligible for our services. If you are a vision impaired ex-Service man or woman, or care for someone who is, find out more at: www.noonealone.org.uk or telephone: 0800 389 7979.

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