Brandon blind woman appeals for fitness class companion

A woman left blinded by a brain haemorrhage three years ago is looking for company at fitness or dance classes following a bid to become more active.

Annemarie Gray, 66, used to teach classes in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire until her illness left her with no sight in her left eye, and “shadow” vision in her right.

Now registered blind, she is independent following a long recovery but has struggled to find classes in the Brandon area and would like to meet somebody who could provide transport and information on places to go.

Mrs Gray, who moved from Garboldisham to Brandon to be near her daughter after losing her sight, said she already swam and attended a line-dancing class once a week but was keen to get out and about more.

“I’ve now trained with my cane and can go places but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go without joining a gym,” she said. “I thought if somebody was already going to one and they’ve got transport and wouldn’t mind me coming along... I won’t ever be able to teach them again but there’s nothing stopping me doing the classes.

“There’s a lot to be said for keeping fit and doing things rather than getting in a rut but I’m find myself in a rut at the moment.”

Mrs Gray was entertaining visitors at her home in July 2009 when she felt a sharp pain in her head which she was later discovered was a brain haemorrhage. Although she remembers little else, Mrs Gray has been told she was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, before being moved to Addenbrooke’s Hospital near Cambridge where she underwent surgery.

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She was then taken back to the Norfolk and Norwich where she was discharged in September, 2009.

“It was hard for the first few months but I’ve shut that away now.” she said. “They have no idea why it happened – it’s just one of those things that comes completely out of the blue.”

Mrs Gray has now learnt to walk with a cane, is on medication, and hopes to learn how to use a guide when her own dog, who is also blind, has passed away.

Anyone interested in accompanying Mrs Gray to a fitness or dance class should call her on 01842 815383 and leave a name and number.