Winston Williams : Without sight but full of vision
Forty-six-year-old Winston Williams has been blind for the last 17 years, but for him, the absence of sight does not mean the end of life.
Williams, who lives with relatives in Effortville, Clarendon, lost his sight as a result of glaucoma, but is determined to be self-sufficient because he does not believe in begging. He said the left eye went blind first and then eventually he also lost sight in the right eye. “I did an operation on it, but the result wasn’t what I had hoped for,” explained the former mechanic who also worked as a machine operator at the Jamaica Bag factory.
“Being blind has changed my life a lot because things I was able to do with sight is no longer possible. It’s a total makeover and readjusting of my life,” he told Rural Xpress.
Williams further explained that when he became blind, he contemplated suicide. "But later I realised it was just a phase of depression. I felt all was lost because I was not able to do as I used to. I stayed in most times because I didn’t want people to see me because I was worried about their opinions and what their perception of me would be so I felt insecure and all those things played on my mind,” said Williams.
His relationship also fell apart during the early stages of his blindness.
After about a year of staying indoors and wallowing in self pity, Williams found the inner strength to forge ahead in life. “I just told myself that life is the greatest and a live mi come fi live and a dat mi ago do,” Williams said boldly. So determined was he to be self-reliant, that he did not do therapy to get over the depression, but dug deep into his being and found the strength to press on.
Surprisingly, he repairs fans, irons, hair dryers and other appliances for a living, but says that isn’t enough for his survival.
“The major part of my living used to be chicken rearing, but that run down so I’m now seeking assistance to restart even bigger and better in a more stable place. The foundation is already framed, but I need help to put up the actual structure and put in a set of chicken, and then I will be able to help myself because I don’t want to be out on the street begging,” he noted.
Williams said he is grateful for the support of his family and few friends who continue to play a part in his life since the death of his mother who took care of him until she died. “I am contented now because I’m able to live with it, I’m able to master the blindness and manoeuvre myself and because I grew up in this community so I know the geography of the area which makes it easy to move about and do things for myself like going to the shop.
Winston Williams can be contacted at 844-9969.