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Blind father reveals how he has to video call his wife while shopping

by Jaimie Putnam (2020-05-13)

A blind former doctor has revealed how he has to video call his wife while food shopping because he is not regarded as a priority customer for delivery slots. 

\uc870\uc120\uc655\uc870\uc2e4\ud1a1 \ubb34\uc801\ud551\ud06c\uac00 \ub9d0\ud558\ub294 \uc6f9\ud230, \uadf8\ub9ac\uace0 \ubaa8\ubc14\uc77c \uc2dc\ub300 | IT\ub3d9\uc544Dr Amit Patel, 40, who lost his sight aged 33 from a haemorrhage behind his eyes, posted his shopping experience in Sainsbury's, while his wife recovered from the flu at home.  

The former A&E doctor, from London, posted footage of himself on FaceTime to his wife Seema while he shopped for lemons and limes with his guide dog Kika.   

Speaking to FEMAIL, Dr Patel said: 'The challenge for me is that, whilst technically priority access to online shopping slots is available for some people, people like me who are blind or visually impaired are being excluded. 

'We don't come under the governments list of vulnerable individuals who qualify for priority home delivery slots, we can't get online slots via the website and can't get through to helplines to even discuss it with them. 

Dr Amit Patel, 40, who lost his sight aged 33 from a haemorrhage behind his eyes, posted his shopping experience in Sainsbury's on Wednesday as the UK entered its first week of lockdown 

Dr Patel added: 'My guide dog doesn't understand social distancing, I can't tell how close or far I am from people in store and also can't get the usual support from staff in store to help me shop either (normally someone would guide me and help me pick items). 





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'It is understandable given the circumstances, so instead I've had to video call my wife as I go around to check what I pick up and the expiry dates. 

The father-of-two posted a picture with his trolley outside the supermarket in a Twitter thread of his shopping experience and explained how Kika 'doesn't understand social distancing'. 

Dr Amit Patel video called his wife in Sainsbury's on Wednesday. Seema directed her husband to oranges while he shopped with guide dog Kika

How did I manage to shop solo in @sainsburys with only @Kika_GuideDog by my side?

I video called my wife, put my headphones on, walked the aisles & she guided me to items.

It's lucky I have great buggy pulling skills, as I put them to good use with the trolley today! #COVID19

— Dr Amit Patel (@BlindDad_Uk) March 25, 2020

He wrote: 'As we can't get a delivery slot with any supermarkets, I had to go shopping with Kika this morn. 

'Arrived at my local Sainsbury's at 7.45am for priority shopping hour. Even with 100 people already in the queue, everyone was in great spirits. Security were fab, let the fun begin!' 

He then revealed his experience of shopping alone with supermarket measures such as a two-metre rule from other customers. 

The author of Kika and Me, posted: 'How did I manage to shop solo with only Kika by my side? 

'I video called my wife, put my headphones on, walked the aisles and she guided me to items.

'It's lucky I have great buggy pulling skills, as I put them to good use with the trolley today!

Dr Patel shared a series of Twitter posts highlighting his shopping experience in Sainsbury's

Footage shows his wife Seema directing her husband in the supermarket: 'The limes and lemons are just next to the oranges - so just the next item. 

First is the lemons, then there's the limes, then you have bags of lemons and limes on the lower level. 

Dr Patel then holds up a bag of lemons and asks: 'Do you need these?' 

She continues: 'Then on the lower level, yes you have a bag of limes there.' 

Her husband briefly pauses to praise Kika as Seema adds that 'you are doing really well, both of you.' 

As Dr Patel moves down the aisle, Seema adds: 'As you look to your left, at the end of that aisle, I think they are all easy peelers in the bags.' 

Seema asks if her husband is able to get some mince, to which Dr Patel replies: 'That aisle is pretty busy.' 

The Government has set up a support page to help 'clinically extremely vulnerable' people which lists pregnancy, respiratory conditions, people with organ transplants, among other conditions as eligible for the service. 

The former medic arrived at Sainsbury's in London on Wednesday 25 in the first week of UK lockdown 

However people who are visually impaired or blind are not listed to benefit from extra support. 

In a later post, Dr Patel added how kind shoppers offered to guide him to products and staff helped him avoid crowds at the checkout.

Alongside a selfie at the cash point, he wrote: 'The staff and shoppers in Sainsbury's today were just brilliant - everyone was so helpful, shoppers verbally guided me to different items & staff took me away from the crowd to check out & packed my shopping into bags for me too.

'I cannot thank everyone enough! #KindnessMatters.'  

On behalf of retailers, including Sainsbury's, Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: 'Retailers are working around the clock to expand capacity for online deliveries, but as this accounts for around eight per cent of total food sales, physical stores will remain the most important way of getting food.

'Everyone must come together in the current crisis and we encourage everyone to consider, if they can, picking up food for vulnerable, disabled, or 쇼핑 self-isolating neighbours. 

'Meanwhile, government and retailers are working hard to identify and support vulnerable people who are unable to visit shops.'

A petition has been launched by Guide Dogs, RNIB, Thomas Pocklington Trust and other organisations to give people with sight loss priority shopping.    

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