My son read Molly’s applewatch blog to me last year. She made everything sound so easy and to be honest I didn’t believe it.
My son kept on and and and on about me getting one as I had become quite a recluse.
I could always find an excuse not to go out, my neighbours helped out with shopping and my son visits regularly.
I have had an iPhone for just over a year and learnt how to use it just by playing with it.
A couple of years ago I was assessed by Guidedogs for a dog but was told I couldn’t be considered for a dog until I had some sort of routine as the dog needs to work.
To be honest it put me into a state of depression and I withdrew further.
I was trained to use a cane some years ago but didn’t like it and didn’t feel I needed it. I was definitely in denial.
Anyway, I had been unhappy for many years. Usher Syndrome has isolated me and I let it.
My son advised me of the project Molly had put together through her charity and he more I read the more I wanted to give the applewatch a try.
I admire Molly, so young and doing her best to live happily and to help others, she is definitely an inspiration to me.
At 54 years old I am not an expert in technology but I’m learning and I quite like it, I have surprised myself with my iPhone, set up my own email and a few apps and games with a little help.
I decided to apply for the applewatch thinking I’d have no chance, as I don’t have a regular routine, haven’t even ventured to my local shop on my own for probably 5 years.
I’m sure there are lots of people hoping to get an applewatch and Molly Watt Trust is a small charity and fundraising isn’t easy.
When I got the email to say I had been approved for a watch and after a few formalities it would be sent to me I was in shock, I hadn’t expected it especially as at this stage I knew MWT have asked for feedback to help with fundraising and I asked to be anonymous – it wasn’t a problem.
I received my applewatch in January, it was like Christmas. I charged it and set it up on my own, I fiddled around with it, sorted out the accessibility settings and changed the faces. My son did help me with a few apps and applepay then he helped me set up a route on maps for me to walk on my own with my cane. He was more excited than me.
It took me 2 weeks to actually walk that route, I had sleepless nights thinking about it. I was fighting with myself, I wanted to do it but I was frightened and hated the thought of being seen with my cane.
I planned the walk over and over until I finally took a deep breath and just did it.
The route was to my local shops, just over a mile a way.
At first I was really slow and apprehensive but the further I got the better I felt, the watch guided me with taps on my wrist for left and right. I made it to the small supermarket and I felt so adrenalised I wanted to walk and walk. All of a sudden I didn’t care if people were looking at me, I felt confident, I felt great.
I decided to go in the coffee shop next door something I’d never have done for fear of knocking something over, I walked in, it was quite empty, I ordered my coffee and the young girl asked if I wanted to pay with my applewatch, I stretched out my arm and beep, done.
I sat down and my coffee was brought to me.
I couldn’t believe myself, I was smiling to myself for the first time in a long time, I had done it and I did it for myself.
I text my son from the coffee shop, he didn’t believe me so came and met me. We both cried, silly I know but a big deal for me.
My son took me home and we talked about technology and how it can change people, enable people, just amazing.
That was the first time and now I go out everyday, I feel so much better for it. No longer a prisoner in my own home, I can get from a to b fairly safely. I do get a bit stressed if it is busy so I avoid busy times.
For me this is just the beginning, I will contact Guidedogs for the blind again perhaps in the summer when I can say I go out regularly, we will see.
For now I just want to thank everybody at Molly Watt Trust for making this happen and for Molly for being such an inspirational young lady.
I will write again soon.
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