Former teacher who lost his sight due to brain tumour inspires students at Roydon school

Roydon James Shone

CHILDREN from Roydon Primary Academy were left shocked when teacher James Shone described how he have lost his sight.

James was a teacher for 16 years, but in 2012, discovered that he had a brain tumour when he went for an eye check. He had to have a 27-hour-long surgery and was in hospital for 80 days, unable to eat, drink or talk. The surgery left him with no sight in one eye and only 10 per cent sight in the other.

When he visited Roydon he told the students: “In 2012, I had it all; everything was as good as it could be. In 2013, I found myself with no job, no house and no sight.

“We have good bits and challenging bits of life. That is life. When the bad bits come, do they break us or make us?”

James is a motivational speaker who work with I Can & I Am charity. He said: “Keep looking forward because that is where the hopes and possibilities and opportunities are. They are in front of us; do not look back.

“One of the most valuable things you can do is to be thankful for what you do have and what you can do.”

After the surgery James couldn’t walk but he told students he was able to row the whole length of River Thames two years ago.

Head teacher, Michael Clark said: “James delivered one of the most inspirational speeches I have ever seen in a primary school. I loved his positive attitude towards life, despite all he has been through.

“We work with the children every day on having a ‘can do’ attitude and James really put some context to this.”

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Natalia Dabrowska

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