A diabetic who had to give up a budding career in fashion when she lost her sight has been given a second chance to pursue her design dreams.
Sarah Rebus, 40, from Epsom had just graduated from a fashion college and was about to begin a placement with international clothing chain Jigsaw when complications with her diabetes resulted in a six month hospital stay where she lost her sight and was confined to a wheelchair.
Mrs Rebus said: “I’d thought I was going into a career in fashion then I felt like I’d lost everything. I lost my home and my boyfriend and was in hospital for six months.
“I was a very independent person which meant everything to me. I felt like I had been left behind.”
Ten years later and Sarah now works for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and designs and makes costumes for The Venturers Drama Group who recently performed The Matter Of The Cardinal Jewel at the Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone in October.
Mrs Rebus added: “RNIB showed me new ways of doing things. I do more knitwear now because I can use bigger needles. At first I thought I would have to give it all up so I was really glad to have this opportunity.”
Sarah even found love again through her work with blind charity Sight Village and got married two years ago.
She said: “He lost his sight too. I still have some navigational vision which means in the dark, I’m totally blind. His sight loss is different from mine so I guide him in the day and he guides me at night.
“We always say to each other: ‘we might have lost our sight but we have met each other.’ I’ve shown that people can get their lives back again. My life is even better now than before.”
There are around 1.8 million people in the UK with sight problems. Anyone with a sight problem can call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk.