Patient H69 - The Story of My Second Sight
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma
Imagine how it would feel to one day wake up and find your vision descending swiftly into darkness. Your fingertips are turning numb, and, as the world closes in around you, you realise there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is what happened to Vanessa Potter.
In the space of 72 hours, Vanessa went from juggling a high-flying career as a producer and caring for her two small children to being completely blind, unable to walk, and with her sense of touch completely gone.
Over the course of the next six months, Vanessa slowly began to recover. Opening her eyes onto a black-and-white world with mutating shapes and colours that crackled and fizzled, she encountered a visual landscape that was completely unrecognisable. As colour reappeared, Vanessa experienced a range of bizarre phenomena as her confused brain tried to make sense of the world around her, and she found herself touching and talking to inanimate objects in order to stimulate her vision – all part of her brain's mechanism for coping with the trauma of sensory loss.
Going blind led Vanessa to turn science sleuth, reinventing herself as Patient H69 to uncover the reality behind her unique condition. With the help of a team of psychologists and neuroscientists, we follow her story as she learns the science of herself, making discoveries that will positively change the course of her life.
Vanessa's account is raw and candid, but ultimately upbeat. It shows how this remarkable woman opened doors by transforming her terrifying experience into an inspirational and scientifically fascinating endeavour.