A BLIND mother-of-4 kept her sight loss a mystery for 38 years and didn’t even tell her family.
Zena Cooper, 42, grew methods for coping with sight loss that tricked everyone, including memorizing familiar ways and learning where roads bent and pavements dipped.
The only mum works as a school counselor in South Wales was born with Marfan Syndrome, which is a hereditary disorder of the body’s connective tissue, and can harm the heart, lungs, bones, joints, and eyes.
It affects sight in six out of 10 people with the disease and Zena was diagnosed when she was four later a routine eye exam led to more examination.
She got clean about her sight four years ago following an error at work when she misidentified a pupil who had arrived in for counseling. Zena then had a set of falls that made her understand it was time to ask for help.
She said the response to her news went from guilt to doubt and she now has help from her guide dog Munch, a fuzzy grey labradoodle.
In school, she was taunted and nicknamed “triple-glazing” because the glasses she was directed were so thick. Zena’s plans to having people think she could see added remembering how people smelled.
Zena had surgery in 2000 to try and recover her sight, but it only made it worse, forcing her to leave her job as a psychiatric nurse and retrain. She received a humanities degree in 2012 from Swansea University and two years next she completed her masters.
The typeface on her computer screen is increased to 1,200 percent and she simply sees six words at a time – a process that needs a lot of patience. Zena has written a biography about her experience and tells her sight loss is more of intelligence.
She stated: “It strikes me to reach parts of my brain that sighted people don’t do. I can sense people’s feelings, sense their grins.
“I’ve never seen my children’s faces and I cannot judge a person by their looks, but I feel I can look into their souls.”