Technology helps blind pastor see clearly for first time in 50 years

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ANNVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A Jackson County pastor, who is legally blind, wants to share a message with others who are visually impaired that there is hope.

"I'm 56 years old, I'll be 57 in December. I lost my sight when I was six," said Donnie Parrett.

Parrett had a brain tumor.

"It was the size of a baseball," said Parrett.

It was a scary experience for Parrett and his family.

"Before the surgery, they sat my parents down and prepared them for me to die but I had the surgery and the only side effect was I have permanent optic nerve damage," said Parrett.

The surgery left Parrett legally blind.

"What a normal person can see from 800 feet, I have to be 20 feet away to see," said Parrett.

Now, a new technology helps him see.

"My youngest son, Nathan, found out about eSight about a year ago. I had never heard of the company," said Parrett.

When Parrett heard about the technology that could help him see, he was skeptical.

"He was so excited and I wasn't really that excited about them because for the past 50 years I have tried everything there is to try," said Parrett.

He went to Cincinnati with his son where he tried on the glasses for the first time and could see.

"I was amazed at what a nice looking son I have," said Parrett.

A circle on the glasses is a camera and everything Parrett sees is projected through that camera onto the screen of the glasses in front of him.

It was not only his son Parrett saw for the first time after putting on the glasses.

Parrett and his wife, Leisa, were married in May of 1983.

"She is always talking about how beautiful her irises are. I never could see them. I looked at them and I looked up and for the first time I really saw Leisa and I said Leisa you are more beautiful than I thought you were," said Parrett.

He also has three grandchildren.

"I saw my grandbabies for the first time and it was amazing," said Parrett.

Parrett said faith is a big part of his journey.

"God has been good to me even though my vision has been like it is I have not let it get me down," said Parrett.

He said he wants more people to know about the glasses.

"These glasses have been amazing. Every day I find myself thinking what can I see today that I've never seen before," said Parrett.

For eSigt glasses to work, a person must have some vision. At the hospital in Cincinnati, Parret put on a trial pair. Loved ones fundraised more than $10,000 for him to have a permanent pair of eSight glasses.

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