John Furniss is blind, but he couldn’t be happier with how his life turned out.
That’s because at one point when he was a teenager, he never expected to make it to where he is now. Overwhelmed by depression, anxiety, and the feeling of never fitting in, he attempted to take his own life at just 16 years old.
“I was very lucky it only took my sense of sight and smell, and it left my brain totally intact,” John said.
His life continued to spiral for a couple of years. But at 18, he returned to his small hometown. Needing help to find a job, he turned to vocational rehab.
“They had, like, cooking and cleaning, braille and woodshop, which I thought they were kind of nuts at first, but I decided to give it a try,” he said, “and it changed my whole life.”
Despite his inability to see, John quickly discovered that he not only had a love for woodworking, but that he had a talent for it, too. Friends recommended he share his extraordinary work on TikTok, something he was hesitant to do at first since he thought the app was just for teens. Once he took a chance and started to share, he gained over 1 million followers!
“I am such a different person now that I really may as well have been born when I became blind,” John said. “I adapted so quickly that I feel like I’m supposed to be blind. I feel like I need to try and use my experience to help people.”
With an international reach through his TikTok following, John is able to experience firsthand how his videos and his life as a whole are making a positive impact on others.
A great example comes from a 12-year-old girl who shared that she first met John at a talk he did at her middle school. What may have been a simple presentation for him was life-changing for her.
“She said that her dad had committed suicide, and my story helped her understand why and helped her kind of deal with it. TikTok has allowed me to do that literally on a global scale,” he said. “That’s something that would would have taken me a lifetime.”
What an incredible way to find the beauty in life! We definitely have a new hero and role model in John!
Watch a clip of “The Blind Woodsman” discussing his powerful journey below, and don’t forget to share this story.
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