When RAF Veteran Keith Greenhaf lost his sight, life as he knew it changed forever. His confidence and independence was dramatically affected and so enjoying a holiday with his wife seemed unrealistic, until he came across the Disabled Holiday Trust that is. In this guest blog, Keith tells us all about his latest holiday.
I served in the Royal Air Force for six years, as a Telegraphist. When I left the service, I worked in administration, but in 2015 was forced to give up the job when I suddenly lost my sight. Unbeknown to me, I had Diabetic retinopathy, which had caused a bleed behind my eyes and left me blind at just 59-years-old.
My independence and confidence were dramatically affected overnight and even my own home became hazardous, so a holiday seemed out of the question.
Last month we visited Duloe Manor, a Disabled Holiday Trust property in the village of Looe, Cornwall.
I was feeling quite low at the time. Since losing my sight, I have good days and I have bad days. So the holiday came at just the right time.
It really was fantastic. The facilities were great, especially the pool. We went on lovely walks in the beautiful surrounding areas. We had great weather and I would go back in a heart beat! Our 40th wedding anniversary fell a week before our trip, so we enjoyed some belated celebrations at Duloe Manor, which was really special!
My wife's friend who also joined us uses a wheelchair and she said she had a great time too! I would highly recommend it to anyone who is disabled and nervous about going away.
The RAF Benevolent Fund has also supported me with adaptations to my kitchen and garden, enabling me to cook and enjoy the garden without having to worry.
It was a huge shock to me and my family when I was registered blind. The kitchen became a nightmare and even the simplest of things became difficult. I kept banging my head and I couldn't see the contents of the kitchen cupboards. Accessing the garden was also unsafe unless my wife was there to help.
A friend recommended I speak to the RAF Benevolent Fund. The improvements they have made to the house have made such a difference and have definitely improved my independence.
RAF Disabled Holiday Trust offers ex-RAF personnel and their dependents with severe disabilities self catering holidays in the UK and overseas. The facilities are specially adapted and accessible allowing families to holiday together. If you would like more information please visit: www.rafbf.org/dht.