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Love is ‘blind’!

When Edie the guide dog looked across a crowded room and saw Chris, she knew it was ‘love at first sight’ both for her and her blind owner Andrea.

 

“We were on a weekend away for 18-25 year olds run by Action for Blind People in Manchester and Edie kept walking over to Chris,” said Andrea who works as a Spa Therapist/Sales Assistant in Cardiff’s ‘Lush Spa’.

 

“On one occasion Edie even ate Chris’ sandwich and that meant I had to go over to talk to this stranger [Chris] and apologise. We started talking, and ended up spending more and more time together…the rest is history so to speak.”

 

Chris Reddington and Andrea Salt have now been together for four years. Chris has Aniridia Syndrome which means he has no iris and anything past the end of his nose is a blur. Andrea has Usher Syndrome and is completely blind and also has a hearing impairment.

 

“When Andrea moved to work in Cardiff it was a no brainer really and I moved with her,” said Chris. “I started in my post with RNIB Cymru as Eye Clinic Liaison Officer in Rhondda Cynon Taff supporting people with sight loss. It’s a valuable role, in particular supporting those people who need advice and help once they are given the news about their sight loss at clinics.

 

“Andrea and I got on so well when we first met and that’s how it has continued, and of course it’s important that we do work as a team so we can help each other out with day to day activities.”

 

Andre added: “Chris is more practical whereas I’m more domestic, so I’ve taught him how to cook and he now makes a great carbonara! He also helps me with things like making up the bed as I find that quite difficult to do.

 

February 14th will mean that little bit more to both Andrea and Chris as they commented: “Valentine’s Day will be special to us, and even though we’ve both got sight loss we always ‘see’ the best in each other…thanks to Edie!”

 

For further support re sight loss matters please call RNIB Cymru on 029 2082 8500 or RNIB Helpline 0303 123 9999 helpline@rnib.org.uk

 

 

•        Vision loss caused by Usher syndrome is due to a condition called retinitis pigmentosa. The hearing loss is due to a condition called sensorineural deafness. Additionally, many people with Usher experience problems with balance.

•        Aniridia is an eye disorder characterized by a complete or partial absence of the coloured part of the eye (the iris). These iris abnormalities may cause the pupils to be abnormal or misshapen. Aniridia can cause reduction in the sharpness of vision (visual acuity) and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).