Legally Blind 5th Grader Christopher Ward Jr. Sees His Mother For The First Time
Fifth Grader Christopher Ward Jr. understands this feeling all too well. Recently, he had the opportunity to see the face of his mother for the first time since he was born.
According to ABC News, Ward has been legally blind since birth; he was born with an undeveloped optic nerve, and, as a result, had never previously seen the faces of any of his loved ones.
The Forest, Virginia native took a trip to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago to try out a new wearable technology dubbed eSight, accompanied by his mother, Marquita Hackley.
Overcome with emotion, Hackley described the experience (having her son see her for the first time since birth) “overwhelming and exciting.”
“The very first thing he did was turn to me and say, ‘Oh, Mommy! There you are!” Hackley, 32, told ABC News. “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.”
In addition to seeing his mother for the first time, the 12-year-old got to watch his favorite cartoon, SpongeBob, without having to get as close as possible to the television screen. Hackley explained that, although her son ” watches TV a little bit at home, [but] in order to see anything, he has to be directly up on the TV” and that “even then, he still can’t see all that clearly.”
“Something has to be up in his face, almost touching for him to see it,” she said. “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.”
The eSight glasses, which feature a hands-free headset that captures live video which is then sent to a LED screen in front of the user’s eyes allowing them to see clearly, costs $15,000, and Hackley, whose insurance doesn’t cover the cost, is currently trying to raise the money to make the purchase.
In the meantime, Ward utilizes braille reader and writer to communicate through text.
“Christopher is just a very loving kid, always happy and never complains about anything,” Hackley said. “I’ll do anything to help get him what he deserves.”
Following the ABC News report, we are pleased to announce that Ward’s family have received $15k and are now able to purchase the eSight glasses.
By: Danielle Dixon
Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani