Gene Purdie of Denver, Colorado has been suffering from Stargardt’s disease since he was a teenager. Stargardt’s disease is a rare ailment causing the retina to deteriorate and makes the center of one’s vision go blurry.
In spite of his disability, Gene remained active with his family. His wife Joy said he was a better chef than she was. The family adapted to Gene’s disease, until their life changed one day after Joy saw something incredible on television.
While watching the Rachael Ray show, Joy saw that Ray had offered to help a viewer with Stargardt’s disease. On the show that day, was a demonstration of new technology that could help restore sight to essentially normal levels.
Joy immediately wrote Ray a long and passionate letter on behalf of her husband. Joy wrote that she “literally began shaking and crying for the next hour or more at the thought of my husband being able to see my face for the first time, to see our son for the first time.”
Ray chose the Purdies to appear on the show along with their adorable one-year-old boy, Lincoln. Gene told Ray that he had waited for 15 years for some technology to help him with his condition. The solution- a prosthetic eye device with HD cameras in it, all designed to provide a customized image for the wearer. Once Gene put the device over his face, he was able to see his wife and child for the first time, all while the video feed was broadcast to the room.
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