At the age of
just 23 Kelly Hart lost her sight and is now supported by Blind
Veterans UK for life
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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
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
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.
Give a blind veteran an independent future