5th grader Chris Ward Jr., 12, was finally able to see his mother thanks to digital glasses featured by eSight technology.
As Ward Jr. was able to finally see clearly with his own eyes, he commented, “when I first saw my mom for the first time, she was pretty.”
The glasses were produced by eSight, a technology firm based in Toronto, Ontario. They sport a high-tech camera that captures the light in front of the wearer and displays the images through video on LED screens that lie in front of the eyes.
How the eSight Digital Glasses actually work?
There is very little image rendering lag, thus enabling long and middle range vision for those with partial sight impediments. The eSight goggles are large and they look like a VR headset. Yet the device it’s not meant to be the latest item in fashion but rather to provide blind people to ‘see’ once again.
— Action4Blind People (@actionforblind) April 29, 2016
“It was just amazing because he’s never been able to see details like that” commented his mother, Marquita Hackley. Chris was also able to read words on a page, “once I read print books with the glasses, I’ll be home free,” he commented.
The price of the equipment reaches the equivalent of $15,000, and although Chris was able to try them for a few moments, his family is not able to pay for the glasses. Not every family can afford such expensive technology, and Ward’s family couldn’t as they are not covered by their insurance. Chris’ mother however, set up a donation page on YouCaring which was able to raise $25,000 in order to pay for the eSight goggles.
— eSight (@eSightEyewear) April 29, 2016
Virginian Chris Ward is currently on 5th grade and he was born with a condition that affects his optic nerve, reducing his vision to only being able to perceive what’s right next to his face. He was brought by his mother and his teacher to Washington, D.C. to try out the eyesight-enhancing glasses.
Functioning at school despite adversities for Chris Ward
To function at school, he had to learn how to count with an abacus and to read Braille. Chris is considered legally blind, as his homework assignments are typed by his teacher on a Braille typewriter. Chris’ condition is known as optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH). It is congenital and it is usually associated with hormone deficiencies and brain malformations during pregnancy.
The ONH patient’s optic nerve displays a much lesser number of nerve fibers when compared to a healthy person’s and the condition can be presented on one or both eyes, although most cases are bilateral The disorder is known to be more frequent in pregnancy cases where the child is the mother’s first, and also where there are fetal complications, weight disorders during pregnancy.