S P O T L I G H T O N
“Memories of Visions”
How I Know Fiona Cummings
Fiona Cummings and I both blog so it was inevitable our paths should cross. She posts her inspirational diary in several of my sight support groups. Fiona is a prolific writer, rarely missing a single day. I love how she describes her life. She shares her observations on family, sight, people she interacts with as well as daily challenges and successes. By her own account, Fiona has a rich, full life, traveling, getting out and going to concerts, meeting friends for lunch and enjoying her neighbors, dog, whatever crosses her mind.
Hello! My name is Fiona and I live in the north of England. At the age of one, my Mum noticed that I was dropping toys and trying to pick them up without any success. She battled with the medics in the early seventies but they took four years before they would admit that there was anything wrong with my eyesight. And that was only after so many tests as they said my vision was perfect. It must be my brain. They told my Mum to take me home and give me a good Christmas as I probably wouldn’t be able to see by the following year.
A Trip to Lourdes
That started many visits to different hospitals around the world and a trip to Lourdes where the ice was broken from the waters before dipping my four-year-old body into it. God for sure heard me scream. I was terrified as two nuns bent over me as I was submerged into the icy water. They promised my Mum that they would pray and a nun said to my Mum, “There will be help on your return to England.”
Not knowing what the Nun meant, my Mum brought me back home and the day after we got back she opened the mail to find words from a newspaper cutting to say there was treatment in the USSR.
In those days, no one went to Russia really, certainly no one we knew. To cut a very long story short, it took two years to secure a visa to travel there. Much media attention later, sadly, I was at my new school for the blind. which, of course, was a boarding school. So I had that to deal with in addition to coping with my sight issues. It was at school where I had to grow up very fast. I guess that put me in a good place to face the tragic situation I found myself in when I went to Moscow.
I went through times no child should have to go through. One day I hope to write my autobiography with more detail.
A Strange Belief
In Russia, they told my Mum I wasn’t to learn Braille, I was to act as if I could see as their belief is the brain has a huge part in our body fixing itself. If you learn Braille, you think blind and if you think blind, you become blind. Let me tell you, I wish life had been different.
In Russia they said, “If you learn Braille, you think blind and if you think blind, you become blind.”
Hunted by the Press
From a young age, I learned I was different. There wasn’t a week that went by when I wasn’t in the newspapers or on TV, the radio or having magazines hunt us down. And they did hunt us. They chased me as I tried to play out with friends. They came to my school and showed up at my parents’ house with cameras against the glass of our windows. Over the years I met a lot of famous people. I lived the life of a Princess but the life of hell too. Again, I hope to write about all of that in time.
Blind at 31
My sight was given to me for thirty years. My son was a year old when I woke up totally blind. My ex-husband didn’t understand my life or me. I was in a very unhappy marriage. He was fine with the fact that I was now blind. That didn’t bother him at all. But at the same time he was cruel. When I asked him to help me with my baby, our baby, he refused. So, I practically brought my son up on my own as my parents died right after I lost my sight. I felt they just couldn’t cope and didn’t want to live, though, of course, there were medical reasons for their deaths. But that old mind thing again that Russia believed in. And their whole life was spent by focusing on all they did to help me. All they worked for. Bless them. If only they knew of the outcome.
So now I have been blind for nineteen years. I’m re-married to my first love from school. My husband is totally blind He has been since birth. And together we live and do all we can to exist in the sighted world.
Longing for a Cure But Celebrating Independence
I have a blog page and I write using touch type, something I learned at school and I use the software called JAWS which for those who can’t see well or for those who can’t see at all, is the best software to read and write with.
I live for a cure or at least treatment that will give me enough sight just to see my son’s face again. Last time I saw him he was a year old, Now he is twenty. Will it ever happen in my life? I pray every day, but at the same time, the things that my husband and I have achieved are incredible. He is my rock. He has taught me so much about the blind world. I write in my blog every day and you can learn of our adventures. We have been on holiday to the Caribbean and America, France, Italy and more. My husband and I had a weekend in London. That was a real challenge as we were on our own. The other holidays we were with our son, who was a child at the time.
We each have a guide dog, which we are so grateful to. Though we don’t have family who help, apart from our son who kind of leads his own life now, what we achieve is done on our own and we have only ourselves to thank for that. Though sometimes it would be so lovely to have help, at the same time, we can be proud of our achievements. Things I do now, when I was with my sighted husband, I would have never thought possible as a blind person.
Please take a look at my blog page at
You have read, “Friday Friends Spotlight on Fiona Cummings by Fiona Cummings. Copyright August 3, 1017. Be sure to leave a comment for Fiona!