Your eyes are an integral part of your daily life. You use them to get around, see your loved ones, and even do your job. You probably even need glasses or contacts to achieve 20/20 vision — and part of that process is scheduling a yearly eye exam. Around 75% of Americans need some sort of vision correction to see on a daily basis, with over half of all women needing prescription lenses. Only approximately 44% of the U.S. population received an eye exam in 2012, despite the importance of having your eyes checked. Eye exams are not only for updating your lens prescription — optometrists are able to detect diseases and other abnormalities of the eye. An eye exam can possibly save your vision.
One Ocular Disease Can Diminish Your Vision As A Child
Stargardt's disease is an inherited disorder that affects the retina — the tissue of the eye that senses light. This disorder causes a person to lose a portion of their sight during childhood or their teenage years, and it causes an individual to not be able to see straight in front of them. Their side vision is usually still intact, but this causes a very decreased range of vision. It is estimated that one in every eight or ten thousand people will develop Stargardt's disease. Although it rarely makes someone completely blind, this disorder cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. This can make it even more devastating to those who suffer from the disorder. One father and husband knows this all too well.
One Man From Colorado Suffers From This Eye Condition
A man named Gene Purdie from Denver, Colorado has been living with Stargardt's disease for over fifteen years. He is considered legally blind, and his vision is minimal at best. He could only make out outlines of people and things, making it extremely difficult to live a normal life for close to two decades. Despite all of this, he has started a beautiful family with the woman of his dreams.
Purdie is happily married to his wife Joy and they have a baby boy named Lincoln. Although this little family is complete, these two lovebirds met in the most comical of ways. Purdie's eyesight definitely presented obstacles when he met his wife Joy, to the point of him walking past her without knowing. "When we actually met, he kept walking by. The next time I saw him I was like 'What's your deal'," Joy stated. Once Purdie explained his condition the couple hit it off, and he has since put in a ton of effort to make their relationship as normal as possible.
Purdie Has To Put Extra Effort Into Everyday Tasks
Purdie still does normal things around the house — like following a recipe — even if it takes him a little longer to read all of the ingredients and steps. Joy even admits her husband is a better cook than her despite his condition, revealing his admirable resilience. This Colorado couple were told for years there was no cure for this ocular disorder, but one segment of a television show changed everything they thought about Purdie's eyesight.
Joy Saw An Episode Of 'Rachael Ray' That Caught Her Eye
When watching television one afternoon in 2015, Joy turned on The Rachael Ray Show to see a heartwarming moment. A woman with Stargardt's disease was being featured on the show, and she was given a pair of advanced electronic glasses to see clearly for the first time. Joy couldn't contain her excitement — it was possible that someone could help her husband finally see his wife and child for the first time. She contacted the show and hoped for the best.
The Purdie family was contacted by producers and invited to appear on the show. Purdie's wife Joy was obviously ecstatic, but no one was more excited than Purdie himself. "I don’t think there’s words for the moment that I first see my family," he stated in an interview before the show. As soon as the family gets onstage the anticipation is filling the air.
A man named Taylor West walked onstage — a representative from the company eSight. This company is the producer of special, electronic glasses that helped vision-impaired individuals see clearly for a short period of time. These glasses are extremely high-tech — and how they operate is absolutely insane!
These advanced glasses by eSight have a camera inside that takes a video of the outside world — whatever the viewer is currently looking at. This pair of glasses then plays back the images to the wearer through an advanced computer, which enhances them to clarify the person's blurred vision. Purdie couldn't wait to put them on, and what he says when seeing his wife for the first time will warm your heart!
Purdie was finally able to see his wife and child for the first time, and his first words were pure love. "Wow, she’s pretty," he stated when he looked at Joy. Purdie begins to tear up upon seeing his wife and son, and it isn't long before Joy starts to get emotional. Purdie couldn't believe he could actually see his loved ones clearly, and it wasn't long before his eyes made it to the audience.
Purdie was simply overwhelmed by his clear vision, and he couldn't believe he could make out every face in the audience so clearly. As he peered out into the audience he started to make out some familiar faces. It wasn't long before he spotted who he was looking for!
Purdie spotted his parents as part of the audience, and once he found them they made their way to greet their son. He hadn't seen their faces clearly for close to two decades, so you could imagine how thrilled he was to finally see two of the most important people in his life. Purdie was absolutely taken aback by his newfound vision. "It’s overwhelming," he stated emotionally. There was one more surprise in store for Purdie — one that would change his life forever!
Not only was Purdie able to see his family onstage for the first time, he was able to relive this experience long after the show aired. The company eSight gifted the pair of glasses to Purdie, so he was able to see clearly around the house and when spending time with his family. This technology will change this family's life forever — even though they thought Purdie's sight could never be restored!
This Remarkable Piece Of Technology Is Revolutionary
Estimated to cost around $15,000, these advanced glasses from eSight are worth every penny. Gene and Joy Purdie know that this gift from The Rachael Ray Show and eSight is absolutely priceless. He will be able to see his son Lincoln grow up in a way that simply wasn't possible before this breakthrough technology — and this family couldn't be more appreciative!
Never Take Anything For Granted — Especially Your Sight
Many of us don't think twice about watching television, reading a book, or even looking at the faces of our loved ones. Gene Purdie's struggles with Stargardt's disease are not over, the fact that he can now enjoy moments of clear vision is a step in the right direction. Technology takes a tear-jerking win for this one!