JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN

Project Description

Diane

At 17 years of age, I had a motorbike accident resulting in penicillin poisoning, which developed into Stephens Johnsons syndrome. Initially, the terrible dryness caused my lids to rub away my corneas despite many corneal graft operations to stop this. I had plastic surgery on my eyelids to try and halt the shrinking process but no luck. My eyelashes started growing inwards and hurt the dry eyes like hell. I still retained some sight in the right eye and could see shapes and colours in a blurred fashion. After 11 more years, I contracted secondary glaucoma which blew the backs of my by now fragile eyes away. Instant total blindness. As time has gone on, my own eyes have shrunk back and I have artificial prostheses which I take out at night and put in the next morning. These are very realistic. Whereas I used to have to wear an irrigation apparatus around my neck to try and keep the eyes moist, when the sight went totally, this was removed and I now use saline eye drops constantly.

For me, as my lovely children have grown up and reached maturity, I revel in the joy of my 2 gorgeous granddaughters, Daisy Willow and Fern. My other great joy is the love I receive from my animals, a guide dog named Farah, our Jack Russell pet, Rosko, and ultimately my wonderful Friesian black horse, Lillia. I adore working with her and a ride in the countryside has for me all the pleasures that life can bring. The different smells of the seasons, wet and muddy in winter, amazing hedgerow smells in the summer. The feel of the wind and sun on my face and all the stress of mobility taken away from me by my beautiful horse picking her own way along the lanes and roads. Of course, I ride out with other people, which is another part of the pleasure. All going along together, chatting sometimes and at other times, just enjoying the sounds through the trees. A chain saw in the far distance, birds chattering and squawking amongst the plant life, other types of farm animals calling to each other. An incredible relaxation and a deep caress of the soul.

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