How a Tennessee Town Helped a Legally Blind 10-Year-Old See Clearly for the First Time

Photo courtesy of eSight Eyewear
Photo courtesy of eSight Eyewear / Photo courtesy of eSight Eyewear

Andrew Borden was born with ocular albinism, a rare genetic condition in which the eyes lack melanin pigment, resulting in severely impaired vision. But as the Daily Mail reports, the legally blind 10-year-old from Maryville, Tennessee, is now able to see the world around him, thanks to a high-tech gift from his hometown.

Community members had launched a fundraiser to purchase a pair of special electronic glasses for Andrew. The vision-enhancing device cost $10,000, but do-gooders weren’t deterred by the steep sticker price. As word spread about the campaign, others—including the local school district—chipped in to raise the needed cash.

Together, Maryville’s residents raised the money to buy Andrew his new glasses in just two days. They presented the gift to him during a surprise school assembly in front of his classmates. “I've just been waiting and waiting—and now they're here!” Andrew exclaimed as he received his present.

Called eSight, the “glasses” are technically a visor-like headset with cameras. The device is worn over normal spectacles, and transmits video images into the wearer’s peripheral vision. It’s controllable, allowing individuals with limited vision to magnify the video feed up to 24 times, adjust brightness and contrast with a hand control, and pause live video.

Andrew has limited vision, and once had to scrutinize things closely in order to see them. Now, he can witness everyday moments he’s never had the chance to experience—with his own eyes.

[h/t Daily Mail]