Florida: Blind Woman Regains Her Eyesight After 21 Years — With A Bonus

A Florida woman who has been blind for the last 21 years miraculously regained her eyesight, but there was more, as while the blind woman was previously color-blind, she can now also differentiate colors correctly.

As reported by 25 WPBF, Mary Ann Franco’s story is nothing short of a miracle. She lost her vision 21-years ago in 1995, after being involved in a car accident that caused her multiple injuries. Among these injuries was damage to her spine and she required an operation. However, in the following days, Franco began to have problems with her vision.

“It went blackish gray and I couldn’t see anything,” she told 25 WPBF.

For the next two decades, Franco had to learn to live without the use of her eyes until recently the blind woman fell in her Okeechobee home. She hurt her neck and her injuries led to her needing an operation on her spine.

What happened next is where the miracle comes in. When Franco awoke in the hospital recovery room, she tried to get the attention of a nurse.

“I said, ‘Lady, you with all that purple on, you give me something for pain,'” Franco said, adding, “And my niece says, ‘What did you say, Mary?'”

While not only having regained her sight, this statement was even more surprising as prior to her 1995 accident, Franco had been color-blind. It seems that the operation not only restored the blind woman’s vision, but also her ability to see color.

“Out the window, I could see the trees,” Franco said, adding, “I could see the houses and stuff.”


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Reportedly last week, Franco had a follow up appointment with her doctor, John Afshar, the neurosurgeon who performed the operation on her neck.

As reported by RT News, Afshar considered the recovery of her eyesight to be “a miracle,” saying, “I’ve never seen it, never heard of it.”

While Afshar isn’t sure what could have happened, his current theory is that the accident back in 1995 created a kink, or a partial blockage, that restricted blood flow from an artery in her spine. He said that as a result, the part of her brain that controls vision wasn’t receiving enough blood to function correctly. He believes her recent neck surgery may have unkinked that artery.

“And when we gave that extra amount of blood flow by unkinking the vessel, it could have re-established the blood flow,” he said, adding, “But this is all theoretical.”

However, according to Franco, she believes what happened to her was a gift from God.

“I believe he just went ahead and give it to me, he gave me back my sight,” she said, “I really believe this with all my heart.”

Franco is now happy to see her family, friends, and pets since regaining her eyesight. Franco reportedly has a daughter and seven grand children, plus two great-grand children. She has reportedly held the little ones and kissed them, but had never been able to see them, until now.

The previously blind woman says her chores are now much easier and she’s looking forward to life with her vision restored.

Franco said, “The sun is coming through the trees.”

“Oh God, it’s so wonderful to see.”

[Photo via Flickr by Christopher Kray, cropped and resized/CC BY 2.0]