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Health Team

Anonymous donor surprises man with the gift of sight, an eSight device

Posted April 16, 2020 3:08 p.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2020 10:59 a.m. EDT

Mike McIntyre has never known what normal vision was like. He learned to adapt to the very limited, up-close vision he's had since he was a baby.

When he was 9 months old, doctors discovered a brain tumor on his optic nerve and pituitary gland--the nerves that run from your eyes to your brain.

Then, about 5 years ago, he became aware of "eSight," a life-changing device that provides a form of vision restoration without implants or surgery.

However, in his home state of Ohio, McIntyre realized the odds of finding assistance to obtain the device were against him. He moved in with a good friend in Fayetteville, hoping to improve his chances of obtaining this life-changing gift of sight.

"Resources weren't available in other states like Ohio where I'm from," said McIntyre.

The "eSight" costs nearly $6,000 and has helped many people with limited vision gain the ability to see. It's worn like a pair of glasses and featured a small camera that captures live footage displayed on two screens.

The expense is often something people like McIntyre fundraise for, seeking donors to help them gain this previous gift of sight.

The Fayetteville Community Lions Club leaders had begun helping McIntyre raise money. Then an eSight fundraising team reached out to McIntyre with news of an anonymous donor. 

An emotional video captured the moment he learned about the gift that covered all of the remaining costs. The device was on its way to his home.

After a few tears, McIntyre responded, "In a scary world nowadays, there are still nice people."

The real excitement occurred when the eSight device arrived. After a few adjustments, he knew that his life had suddenly changed for the better.

"With these now I can see 20/20, so that's amazing," said McIntyre.

He describes the sensation as "like a baby with its first eyesight, getting that first glimpse of everything. It's amazing."

McIntyre said he hoped anyone who needed this device could find a way to get one. "It's like a second chance. Everybody deserves one," he said.

Despite his limited natural vision, McIntyre has worked successfully as a chef and more recently in a Fayetteville retail store. Now with his new device, he hopes to begin working towards his dream: Starting his very own food truck business.

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