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Lora And Neil Fachie: From Paralympians To Parents

November 11, 2022

    Paralympic cycling champions Lora and Neil Fachie have been talking about putting their own spin on parenthood after the birth of their baby son.

    The visually-impaired cyclists, based in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, became parents to Fraser on 31 October.

    Lora, who was still training three days before Fraser was born, said she thought her fitness definitely helped her get to grips with being a new mum.

    They were learning how much they could do on “so little sleep”, Lora added.

    The golden couple, who were both appointed an OBE earlier this year, told BBC North West Tonight they had found “ways to get around things”.

    Neil, previously dubbed “Mr Unbeatable“, said: “It’s a case of we do things in a different way.

    “I’ve got some sight, but I see better when it’s light. I’ve actually got a few clip-on lights around our nappy-changing area, so it almost resembles a football stadium, going to the arena for combat.”

    Prior to giving birth to Fraser, Lora said she was most nervous about changing his nappy, but has since discovered it was the easiest thing to negotiate.

    Meanwhile, Lora got to practise reading bedtime stories last month when she became the first ever person to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story in braille.

    However, she said that initially breastfeeding had felt more of a challenge.

    “The midwives were brilliant, but they know how to support people who can see,” she said.

    “So all the advice, especially for getting a good latches [was] nipple to nose and then look for their open mouth.

    “I can’t see when his mouth’s open, so I needed to feel – and no one knew how to support me.”

    ‘Very lucky’

    The couple said one health visit had caused them distress, but it had been a “blip” in the support they had received.

    Lora said that after she had finished breastfeeding Fraser, a health visitor asked her if she thought he was a bit red.

    She said she told the visitor she was visually-impaired so could not see.

    “So she said, ‘What about you, then, Daddy?’ and Neil said, ‘I can’t see properly’,” Lora said, adding that the response was: “‘Well, that doesn’t stop you seeing colour, though, does it?'”

    The pair said they had been “very lucky” to have great support from family and friends with Fraser, including maternal grandparents Anthony and Sue Turnham, who were also visually-impaired.

    Neil said: “We’ve seen the perfect roles models of Lora’s parents bringing up visually-impaired children who have gone up to lead incredible lives.”

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