Blind dad tormented by 7ft grim reaper and bloodthirsty viking hallucinations

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The grip reaper and blood-thirsty axe-wielding vikings are just some of a dad's daily hallucinations.

Nathan Foy, 41, jokes he was born with the eyes of a 65-year-old with congenital glaucoma, which gave him limited sight, but things took a dramatic turn three years ago.

As his vision suddenly worsened the dad-of-two, from Cardiff, began to fill in the blanks of what he could no longer see.

Nathan now sees the funny side of his hilarious and often harrowing imagination, but it initially plunged him into depression.

He told the Daily Star: "I've seen some harrowing stuff that's just nasty to look at and they come from your memory or something, maybe a horror film but your brain is just filling in that gap."

"People with injuries, bits missing, blood. Fortunately it's not very often but it's quite emotive when you see that stuff. It's things you wouldn't necessarily want to look at.

"Having said that I probably saw them in a horror film when I was a teenager and I'm paying the price now."

The England and Wales blind cricket team player recalled how he once got a fright from a towering cloak-clad figure standing over him with a scythe.

Nathan said: "I've seen the Grim Reaper a few times, the very first time I saw him was when I was first getting these serious hallucinations. It was almost Halloween time and it really shocked me.

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"I was getting something out of the backseat of a car and as I was coming back out of the car where the door was it was like the door disappeared and where it was was a great big Grim Reaper standing over you, I don't know like 7ft tall or something. He's got the whole outfit on, skeleton hands and stuff like that and it really got me.

"And then my wife said 'can you get that off the back seat', looking at me like what's wrong with you?"

Desperate for sensory input in the darkness, Nathan visions can be triggered by sound or smell or even change of temperature.

Nathan continued: "Quite often the first time I see something new it kind of takes my breath a little bit.

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"I've seen quite a few people with axes and your thought is that they're coming to get you. They look a bit like viking type, old style kind of get up. Big axe and your first thought is danger.

"When I'm trying to go to sleep at night in a dark room and there's nothing to see but I'll see something really bright and that's like my pillow is on fire.

"This is where you've got to try and not react to the hallucinations to see."

Thanks to Guide Dogs, Nathan learned how to cope with his hallucinations – known as Charles Bonnet syndrome – where there is a disconnect between the eye and brain.

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The charity he also works for has provided Nathan with three dogs over more than 23 years and his current one, Mason is vital in keeping him calm when 'under attack' in public.

One hallucination Nathan has grown used to is a fire-breathing dragon in the kitchen.

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He added: "So you open this oven to a waft of hot air and I just see this sort of dragon's head breathing fire and your instinct means you flinch and stuff. It's not a boring life I tell you, it's constant entertainment.

"I just get such a range of things and the hard bit is not to react.

"Now things have settled I can cope with them but the point is I had a period in my life where I was really struggling and these hallucinations were going to finish me off.

"I was just so lucky that I managed to find Diana Evans who'd helped loads and loads of people."

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