Kevin Michael-Gagne is regaining his independence, thanks to a pair of high-tech new glasses that allow him to see the world once again.
Michael-Gagne lost his sight at the age of 20 overnight. He was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease: serpiginous choroiditis of the macula. The artery in the back of his eye burst and the pressure caused by the blood crushed his retina.
He lost 95 per cent of his vision. All that remained that he could see was limited peripheral vision and things very close up. Everything else went black.
His optometrist, Dr. Rajan Mistry, thought new glasses called E-Sight might be able to help – he was right.
“There is a camera in the front, in the centre. There’s a light sensor and a distance sensor. And on the inside there’s two little LCD screens. It just sort of live-streams from the front camera to the two screens.”
Michael-Gagne’s family held fundraisers to buy the $15,000 glasses. They’ve made a world of difference.
“It feels amazing that I can do stuff on my own. I don’t have to rely on other people and I love the fact that I can just jump on a bus and just go to the gym any time I want,” he said.
The 23-year-old has also been bowling, go-karting and bike riding since getting the glasses.
“It meant absolutely everything to me. I went from having sight, having it all, to losing it in a few short months. Getting the money to get these glasses? It feels like I’m a new person, exploring life again.”
WATCH: E-Sight allows blind woman to see her child
Michael-Gagne is tracking his life with the new glasses on his YouTube channel.
He says people often see his glasses and stop him to ask if he’s playing a game, but he’s happy to explain how the technology is helping him see again.