Mary Sedgwick, a 48-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina, was a fourth-year medical student when she was diagnosed with bilateral optic neuritis that causes visual impairment and blindness back in 1997. Since then Mary had been slowly losing her vision, and even had to forget her dream of becoming a doctor for the safety of her patients. She became legally blind in 2003 which later led to a complete loss of sight.
The next 6 years had been very difficult to Mary – not practicing medicine was devastating, it completely changed her future and turned her life upside down. But it all got a little bit easier when Lucy, a golden retriever guide dog, came into her life, and she started to slowly enjoy it all again. “I would not be as mobile, confident or free to enjoy the life I do have without her,” the woman admits.
Although Lucy has been an amazing friend for already 8 years and Mary couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing dog life, she always wondered how does she look like. This April, Mary finally found the courage to try a pair of eSight electronic glasses at the NC Lions MD 31 State Convention. With the help of a high-definition camera, they restored some of Mary’s remaining residual vision.
The video of this heartwarming moment shows Mary looking into Lucy’s eyes for the first time in 8 years and breaking down in tears. “There are no words to describe how I felt when I saw the face of my beloved family and friends and the beautiful, soulful eyes of Lucy for the first time!” says Mary. “My heart has been flowing over since that moment, and my mind has been exploding with the potential the future holds.”
She’s now started a fundraising campaign to be able to make her dreams a reality by purchasing a pair of these glasses that actually cost more $10,000 with various add-ons like sunglasses (necessary due to her light sensitivity), extra batteries, replacement remotes and much more. After she reaches her goal, she wants to help other people just like herself to make their lives brighter.