Patricia (Trish) McWhan awoke one morning with no sight in her right eye. She was diagnosed with optic neuritis at the hospital where she received treatment. Her sight slowly returned – beginning with just black and white vision to eventually color. After three additional episodes of optic neuritis, Trish continued to experience vision loss in both eyes, with gradually increasing light sensitivity. In 1997, Trish was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which is likely linked to optic neuritis.
Trish has a diploma in Health and Community Studies and a degree level qualification in Mental Health Nursing. She worked as a senior staff nurse until health complications caused her to leave her position.
In 2012, Trish and her husband, Keith, decided to open a software solutions company called Buzy Bees Software Services. Trish utilizes her management and communication skills she gained as a senior staff nurse in her current position as a manager for this company. Given her passion for art and design, she also serves as a graphic designer, manages the website and social media accounts, and creates materials. The business is also 'Disability Confident, ' which is a United Kingdom government campaign designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions.
In her work environment, Trish utilizes what is considered "low tech" accommodations such as using flux computer software, adjusting screen brightness, and wearing sunglasses. Specifically, she wears polarized over glasses wrap around sunglasses. At home, she uses a magnifying glass.
A professional highlight includes the development of "Whitehaven APPsolutely," which showcases businesses, events, and special offers in Whitehaven, Cumbria, in the United Kingdom. They are currently expanding the app to include more information related to disability support in the area.
Outside of work, Trish enjoys spending time with her husband. She loves walking her dog, Pepper, and spending time in her garden. Her hobbies include arts, crafts, and cooking.
Trish believes that a disability should not prevent anyone from achieving their dreams. She believes that a positive attitude is key to success. Trish states that a positive attitude will "help you find opportunities whenever you experience challenges in your life." She continues that, "if you stumble, a positive attitude will help you to pick yourself up and hold your head high, and it will help you develop a good opinion of yourself, which will automatically increase your self-esteem."
Last Updated March 2020