Ryan Jones - a vision for the future
Ryan is an eleven year old with a lot of ambition. He had also been dealt a very 'poor hand' when he was born. His mother was a heroin addict and Ryan was born addicted! So the first task for the hospital was to detox him soon after birth. Unfortunately this left him with serious other difficulties apart from blindness.
Ryan was taken into care after some period with a neglectful mother, who would not allow him to move for the first two years of his life.
As sometimes happens he was moved from one family to another, some were not nice to him - until he arrived in the care of his current adopted parents, who quickly set about building his confidence and self esteem.
Now in a loving and caring family, Ryan has flourished, he attends mainstream school, often struggling to keep up with his sighted classmates. But undaunted Ryan works hard, but he needed a special equipment to help him read from the blackboard, read books and take a full part in class activities.
His eyesight is extremely poor and failing, but our friends at Blind in Business were contacted by Ryan's foster mother - and so started a trail of support, culminating in the supply of a specific CCTV system being supplied to him - as a surprise! It was, of course, funded by Vision Charity, following a request from B in B's Michael Kenny.
Ryan received his new 'eyes' recently at the London office of B in B and for once in his short life, he was speechless! Already it has made a significant difference to his school work performance, his communication skills and his popularity!
Last year, Ryan ran in the junior London Marathon, the youngest competitor and we believe, one of the first with visual impairment! So Ryan Jones is no ordinary youngster.
Vision's Peter Thompson went to meet Ryan and to hand over the kit set up by Dan Mitchell, the IT officer of Blind in Business. Dan's the man who runs many of the B in B training courses, all over the country, and advises students on the best facilities to obtain. Hence he is perfect for this job. Dan is registered blind as well!
Asked by Peter "what is your next ambition Ryan” – “ to run in the Olympic Games in 2012" Ryan will then be 18 years old - and he will do it! He is some boy!! Our picture shows Ryan seated in front of his new CCTV system - just before he knew it was his to take home! His foster mother Alison Jones looks on proudly and Dan Mitchell and Clare Young from B in B watch the action over his shoulder! Peter Thompson is swallowing his tongue!