Our ability to see is the sort of thing that we almost always take for granted. We value it not only because it keeps us from bumping into things, but it allows us to see and interact with our loved ones. And since most of us still retain our vision, we never really stop to consider just how precious it really is.
This wasn’t lost on Colorado’s Gene Purdie. After being labeled legally blind 15 years ago, he longed to be able to see his family again. Yet, his diagnosis with Stargardt’s disease meant that his hopes of being able to see more than just the outlines of shapes were slim to none.
Out of this darkness, though, came an opportunity recently to try a pair of special goggles that allow sufferers of certain vision problems to see. When Gene finally put them on, his reaction was beyond moving…
Fifteen years ago, Denver resident Gene Purdie was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, which rendered him legally blind. His vision worsened until he could only really make out the edges of shapes. More importantly, it meant that it’d been a decade-and-a-half since he’d last laid eyes on his family.
That thought is sobering enough when you consider his parents and family members, but what’s even more tragic is the fact that he’s never been able to see his wife or son’s faces. Unfortunately, he learned to accept that reality.
“When we actually met, he kept walking by,” recounted his wife, Joy, in an interview about their story. “The next time I saw him I was like ‘What’s your deal?’” A simple explanation, however, was all she needed to forgive him. Their love only grew from there…
Since he and Joy began dating, Gene worked hard to not let his disability affect their relationship. Despite objects in the center of his vision being blurred, he wanted to be able to enjoy a normal life like everyone else.
Yet doing so was a constant struggle. Everyday tasks were exhausting for him; something as simple as reading a cookbook in order to prepare a meal, for instance, was a chore. Understandably, he wished there was something—anything—he could do about his vision.
See the amazing moment when Gene gets his sight back
Then, fate seemed to intervene. While watching The Rachael Ray Show one day, Joy watch a guest with a pair of special glasses called eSight. The demonstration that followed showed how the product was able to fix a woman’s vision. Right away, Joy set about contacting the show.
To her surprise, Rachael’s show responded! Not long after, Gene, Joy, and their family were set up to be featured on the show for their very own demonstration with the eSight glasses. It all seemed to good to be true!
The glasses, which work by first recording a video of whatever they’re aimed at, and then processing the video in a way that the viewer’s eyes can see, were placed on Gene’s head. He started to look around…
The very first thing he saw—his view was projected onto the screen on the show’s stage for everyone in the audience to witness—was Joy’s face. His amazing response? “Wow, she’s pretty!”
From there, Gene’s reaction only became more and more emotional. After years in the dark, he was finally able to see again. Even better? He was about to look at his son’s face for the very first time… and his reaction is priceless.
The emotions in a moment like that are hard to even fathom. To see your family’s faces for the very first time is unbelievable. That eSight sure is incredible!