Saturday, April 21, 2012

144: The Self-Empowered Woman: Trish Vickers and Kerry Savage

Dear Followers,

Every now and then I like to share an unusual story about women that inspires, and does so in a gentle, non-competitive way. The following story is sure to remind you that great (if seemingly small) acts of courage and kindness happen every day.

In a small English village (Charmouth) near Lyme Regis in Dorset (best known as the countryside made famous by novelist Thomas Hardy) a small, minor miracle recently took place. Trish Vickers, 59, who became blind as a result of diabetes, looked for a way to fill the void in her life that had occurred after the loss  of her eyesight.

At first, she tried to write poetry, but then she decided to try her hand at writing a novel..  She used a pen that was guided across the paper by a system of stretched  elastic bands.  Her novel (tentatively titled "Granmifer's Legacy") is about a woman named Jennifer who successfully rebuilds her life after losing her job, her mentor, her boyfriend, and her great-great grandmother.  Six months ago, Vickers began to dream of finding a publisher.

When her son, Simon, came to visit she decided to share with him the 26 pages she had written.  That's when he had to give her the bad news that every page was blank; her pen had run out of ink even before she had begun writing.  In a desperate attempt to retrieve what she had written, Vickers and her son turned to the forensic service of the Dorset County Police.

That's where the other heroine of this story enters.  Kerry Savage usually helps to solve murder, arson and fraud cases.  But to help Trish Vickers, she spent five months worth of lunch hours using an angled brilliant light technique that reveals indentations made on paper to salvage the result of Vickers' imagination.  Thanks to her, a typescript of the missing pages was delivered to the heartbroken blind author.

In Savage's words "It was nice to do something for somebody, and it was nice to read the book as well.  Fortunately, apart from one line, we managed to retrieve the whole lot."  Now, a volunteer comes to Ms. Vickers' home once a week to type new pages of the novel.  This is a lovely story of two women who'd never met, having a positive impact on each other's lives in the rural English countryside.

Looking forward to your comments...

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