As an illustrator and graphic artist, Cathy depended on her vision to do her work. One day, she felt a pain in the back of her head as if she had been hit with a baseball bat. Treatment for Vasospasms, followed by a stroke left her permanently blind in her left eye and partially blind in the right.

In a matter of days, she went from successful artist and illustrator to a person grappling with despair. “It was a strange new world. I could see a person, but not the whole person. I could see the hair, but not the face. I could see the ears, but not the eyes.”

“When I tried to read a newspaper, it looked like confetti over the print.” She came to Society and learned to use devices that could help her, including using binocular glasses. She began to have hope.

When her husband Randy died unexpectantly a few years later, she was once again devastated. “He did everything for me, and I just didn’t know what I was going to do.”

She immediately contacted Society, and Occupational Therapists showed her how to cook safely. A portable electronic magnifier became her right hand and allowed her to read numbers and words. “It is a life saver. I use it daily. I even made soup the other night for my family.”

She has gained confidence. She has even taken up painting again. “It looks like something a first grader might do, but it’s just the fact that I’m painting. My granddaughter and I spend a lot of time painting together and I can tell she’s picked up my talent. But I would be doing none of it if it weren’t for St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired.”

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