Giving the (Nearly) Blind Sight

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High-tech glasses helps little girl see clearly for first time

The only obvious differences between Emma-Rose Gibson and most other eight-year-olds are her talent and maturity.
It’s only when she goes to read the song she penned herself on her way home from school or reads out homework questions that her struggle becomes clearer.
Sitting at her kitchen table with mom Jennifer-Anne, the little girl reads her schoolwork with her nose pressed to the paper.
It’s the only way she can see clearly, the result of an eye condition that doctors initially believed left her completely blind.
“So my eye condition is called optic nerve hypoplasia,” the precocious third grader says happily, more intent on showing off her latest painting.
Diagnosed at two months old, Emma-Rose beat the odds when, at two, she was able to see shadows and track objects with her eyes.
“We had to argue with doctors (to convince them) she had sight,” said Jennifer-Anne.
Since then, the Gibsons; Jennifer-Anne and her husband Justin Gibson have helped Emma-Rose adjust to life with 20/400 eyesight.
But the disability — if you can call it that — has hardly slowed the kid down.
“I learned to get used to it,” she said.
But if all goes according to plan at a fundraising bowl-a-thon on March 24, Emma-Rose may be able to start seeing more than anyone thought possible, thanks to a high-tech pair of glasses made by a local company.
After hearing about the new technology on the radio, Jennifer-Anne put a call into eSight Corp and Emma-Rose tried the glasses in January.
The results couldn’t have been better as the glasses recorded Emma-Rose’s eyesight improving to 20/30 while wearing the special specs.
“It really helped me see,” Emma-Rose said. “I could see McDonalds, and it was driving distance (away).
“I was like, is this really happening?”
The feeling of seeing her daughter’s reaction to being able to see clearly was hard to explain.
“She giggled,” said Jennifer-Anne. “She saw our faces and zoomed right in. It was pretty amazing.”
As with most ground-breaking technology, the cost of the goggles is steep and the $10,000 price tag is more than the family can afford on their own.
So they’re counting on the support of friends and family at the fundraiser, which starts at 4 p.m. at the Merivale Bowling Centre.
“It’s amazing just thinking of all the things that will change for her,” said Jennifer-Anne.
For more information, check out the eSightforEmma Facebook page.

High-tech glasses helps little girl see clearly for first time | Ottawa & Region | News | Ottawa Sun (external - login to view)

What the glasses will mean for her. (external - login to view)

That's quite a remarkable difference. I hope they are successful in their fundraiser.

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