Success after serious scare

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:50 10 February 2015

Mark Ball who lost his sight has set up his own business.

Mark Ball who lost his sight has set up his own business.


Despite losing his sight after a major health scare, a Clevedon man is running a successful massage business from home and now hopes to inspire others with disabilities to follow their dreams.

Mark Ball, of Macleod Close, had his world turned upside down in 2008 when he suffered a ruptured artery in his pancreas leading to a string of complications and a long road to recovery.

Mark, aged 51, said: “The incident happened one Sunday morning in March 2008 when I left my house early and drove to a piece of woodland between Clevedon and Portishead.

“I parked my vehicle and got out to open a gate to the woods but as I bent down to lift the gate from the latch I had a terrible pain in my lower abdomen.

“I managed to get back into my vehicle where I passed out for half an hour. When I awoke I was still in intense pain and was sweating profusely.

“At that point I knew there was something seriously wrong and I needed to get home as soon as possible.

“I collapsed on the bedroom floor and had a seizure.

“I was taken to Weston General Hospital and cannot remember anything about the events that followed until the end of April.”

While at hospital the problem was found to be a ruptured artery to the underside of Mark’s pancreas.

Following surgery, doctors also found Mark had a lumbar puncture, an indicator of a meningitis type virus, and it was suspected he had sustained brain damage due to the trauma and blood loss.

Mark said: “I was moved to the neurological ward at Frenchay Hospital where it was confirmed I had severe optic nerve damage, brain stem injury and damage to my liver, kidneys and lungs.”

After being discharged Mark recovered at home with the emotional and practical support of Vision North Somerset, which helped him look to the future and focus on what he could still achieve.

Mark said: “My main aim was to try to return to work but unfortunately I was made redundant by my employer. The employment adviser helped me choose a new career path.

“I have always been interested in the human body and was interested in choosing a career which allowed me to help people.

“Following some IT training provided by Action for the Blind I was accepted on a course at the Royal National College for the Blind.

“I qualified as a massage therapist in April 2014 and I have diplomas in holistic massage, sports massage and on-site chair and stress management. I set up In-Touch Massage Therapy in July last year.

“I hope that my story can inspire others with disabilities to follow their dreams.”

To contact In-Touch Massage Therapy call Mark on 07502 221967, email or search for In-Touch Massage Therapy on Facebook.

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