CONWAY, New Hampshire (NEWS CENTER) - New technology is giving a New Hampshire man a second chance at sight.
Andrew Airey is legally blind. As a child, his doctors were able to prescribe eye wear to help him get by. As an adult, his condition worsened. Nothing seemed to help, until now.
Andrew has Stargardt disease, also known as Juvenile Macular Degeneration.
“I can’t see your eyes, nose, lips, your eye color, your expressions”, he said.
He has tried just about everything to try to bring his life into focus. Powerful eyeglasses and magnifying devices, but nothing quite worked for him. He has missed out on many things that most of us take for granted.
“I can still not see people’s faces and all those important pieces of life. My kids’ expressions, whether they’re smiling or lost a tooth. These things you really want to be a part of”, he said.
Perhaps that biggest thing he felt robbed of was being able to fully enjoy the day he got married to his wife Kelli.
“The biggest thing for me was not really being able to see all of the details of her face, her expressions, you know, if she shed a tear”, he said.
That was nearly 15-years ago. Now he has new hope of seeing what he has been missing. They are hi-tech glasses created by a Canadian company called eSight. Inside is a high-speed, high-definition camera that streams video to two LED screens. An infrared light works with his retina helping him to see.
“It brought back my color vision impeccably. So I could see sharp crisp color again”, he said.
So that brought Andrew and his wife to a church not far from their home. They decided to do their wedding over again. Only this time Andrew could see.
As he stood at the altar waiting for his bride, he looked around and could see all the details he couldn’t see the first time around.
“I saw her smile, the whole way down. When she came to me and put her hands in mine, I noticed her veil and her veil had these tiny diamonds within it, and they were small”, he said.
People don’t always get second chances in life. It was one of those moments that this couple will always cherish.
“People always say that their wedding, the main wedding that they have, is the best day of their life. But we were blessed with the chance to have this second wedding and I think that was even better than the first", said his wife Kelli.
For Andrew, the future looks much brighter, now that’s he found the breakthrough he’s been waiting for.
“Good things come to those wait. I’ve had a real journey”, he said.
The technology is evolving. Andrew expects the glasses to get better, smaller and less expensive over time. Right now they run about $10,000. His family has set up a Gofundme page to help with the expenses associated with them.