A legally blind boy saw his mother for the first time in 12 years, owing to electronic glasses. The emotional moment when the Virginia fifth grader tried out eSight electronic glasses and instantly recognized his mother was captured on video.
For 12-year-old Chris Ward, it had been a difficult journey without the gift of sight. However, he was recently given the opportunity to see the world a lot better than ever before. Owing to electronic glasses called eSight, he was able to gaze upon his mother for the first time. Speag about the magical moment, Ward’s mother Marquita Hackley said,
“As a mother going 12 years with your child not being able to clearly see — I don’t really have words for it.”
Chris Ward, whose real name is Christopher, was born with an optic nerve which never developed fully. Chris suffered from a condition called optic nerve hypoplasia. This essentially means his optic nerve, which was supposed to start growing before his birth, never did. According to his mother, her son “only has little light perception in his left eye and very, very low vision in his right eye,” reported ABC News.
Chris’ mother added that her son was legally blind his entire life. However, he is not completely blind. Legally blind people have very limited vision, but can partially see and vaguely make out shapes. However, they are not able to correctly decipher any objects beyond a few inches from their face. For young Chris, the situation was very similar. He has making out images by getting really close — and can only watch TV by sitting with his nose to the screen, the 32-year-old mom explained, reported New York Daily News,
“Something has to be up in his face, almost touching for him to see it. He watches TV a little bit at home, in order to see anything, he has to be directly up on the TV, and even then, he still can’t see all that clearly. And even though Ward wears glasses on a daily basis, they’re more for protection than vision because there is a strong possibility he could lose the little sight he does have if were to get hurt or hit on the face.”
Any chance to remedy Chris’ vision was welcome; hence, the mother-son duo traveled to Washington, D.C., to try electronic glasses called eSight. The company’s website explains the technology behind the electronic glasses.
“The device is a wearable, hands-free headset that houses a small, high-speed camera that captures everything the user is looking at. The captured live video stream is instantly sent to a powerful computer that uses proprietary software to process each pixel of video captured by the camera. The captured video is then sent to a LED screen in front of the person’s eyes who are wearing them. It allows them to see with ‘unprecedented visual clarity.”
Like any mother, Hackley became emotional when she was able to witness her son try on the eSight device and “really see for the first time in his 12 years of life,” reported the Daily Mail,
“The very first thing he did was turn to me and say, ‘Oh, Mommy! There you are! And then to hear him say, ‘I saw my mom, and she was very pretty,’ was so heartwarming. And aside from pretty, just the fact he could even see me meant the whole world to me.”
Though the glasses do not rectify the vision completely, they do offer a much clearer perception of what lies in front of the wearer. However, with the help of the glasses, Ward would no longer be considered legally blind.
The moment blind boy, 12, sees his mother for the first time with new electronic glasses and reduces her to tears https://t.co/8nXgW2L9vy
— Regina F. Graham (@ProperGrahamR) April 29, 2016
Despite the radical improvement, the glasses brought to Chris’ vision, the insurance company refused to cover the expenditure. Each pair of the glasses costs about $15,000. However, that didn’t disappoint young Chris. When ABC aired the news about the boy, the Internet decided to step up and pay for the glasses. Within minutes, donations far exceeded the $15,000 needed to purchase the electronic glasses.
The boy has been using braille to read and an abacus to calculate. Now, the electronic glasses will grant him the gift of sight.
[Photo by Guido Mieth/Getty Images]