British grandma recovers sight after heart attack
Jan 21, 2006 - 3:29:37 PM
Can a blind person recover sight after suffering a serious heart attack? Yes, that is exactly what happened to 74-year-old Joyce Urch, who was blind for over 25 years but miraculously emerged from the life of darkness when she woke up after the heart operation, baffling medical experts here.
Urch is convinced that it was nothing short of a miracle.
She said: "When I first came round I just opened my eyes and shouted, 'I can see, I can see.' I said to (husband) Eric, 'You've got older haven't you?' But I thought, 'I'm old myself, my husband must be too.'
"The first time you look in the mirror you look at yourself and think, 'Is that really me?' But a lot of things have changed."
Joyce Urch, from Coventry, has been blind since 1979, and has never been able to see her five children properly. Now, for the first time, she can see her 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Doctors at the Walgrave Hospital in Coventry spent three days battling to save her life when she suffered a heart attack. She then woke to a new life, spreading cheer in her family and among friends.
She and her husband Eric Urch celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last weekend in a way she had never dreamed. She said: "I love going out now. I can look around and see the trees and squirrels and pigeons."
Urch, 77, a former coal miner, told The Telegraph: "I didn't believe it when she said she could see me. I said 'What colour pullover am I wearing?' She said 'grey', and she was right. When Joyce first went blind it made a huge change to our life. Everything seemed to fall away from us. She couldn't do anything.
"She does little chores now. We try to do everything between us. This has given us both our lives back."
Their eldest daughter, Carol Obeirne, 46, said: "When she first came round we thought, 'This is not going to last, she is going to die.' Then she started shouting, 'I can see'. I was just so excited.
"My mother has never been given any medical explanation as to why she lost her sight, nor has she ever been offered any medical explanation as to how she recovered it."
Martin Breen, consultant cardiologist at the Walgrave Hospital, said: "I am not able to give a medical explanation. When she was admitted to hospital, she had suffered a serious heart attack and our main concern was to save her life.
"I am delighted that she has fully recovered, and it is an added bonus that she has also recovered her sight."
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