Imagine marrying a lady whose face you’ve never seen before. Or being addressed as “daddy” by your child and not knowing who he is. Imagine going through each day without the gift of sight, which most of us take for granted without realizing it.
For Gene Purdie, who was born with Stargardt’s illness, this is the truth. It’s a retinal illness that causes him to only see small slivers around the margins of whatever he’s looking at.
Gene was not properly diagnosed until he was 16 years old, despite the fact that he was born with the illness. After that, he met Joy, the love of his life, and the two married and welcomed their son, Lincoln.
The only problem is that Gene has never seen a picture of his family.
One day, Joy was watching the Rachael Ray Show when she saw that one of Rachael’s guests had Stargardt’s illness.
She hadn’t seen her sister’s smile in more than a decade. The visitor on Rachael Ray’s show was able to see thanks to a special set of electronic spectacles! eSight, a business that specializes in breakthrough eyewear technology that helps people with vision impairment to see again, developed the technology.
Joy was absolutely stunned as she saw it all happen on the TV screen in front of her. She wrote the program a letter in the hopes that they would offer her family the same incredible chance.
The family of three from Denver made their way to New York City to participate on the show after their prayers were answered.
Gene awaited the eSight spectacles to be slid over his head on stage with bated breath.
The crowd and everyone in the studio were first unsure if the technology had functioned after they were turned on. Then Gene turned to face his wife, and the words “She’s pretty” suddenly came out of his mouth.
As you can expect, the couple was overcome with emotion, and Gene was simply taking in all of the complete visuals of the things he’d been “piecing together, a bit at a time” for the past 16 years.
To top it off, Rachael Ray revealed that Gene’s family would get $15,000 in glasses from the brand eSight! He can now see his wife on a daily basis and see his son grow up in ways he’s never been able to before.
Whether you can see Gene or not, you can’t deny that he’s full of life. His inability to perceive the world around him has clearly never dampened his excitement or energy.