New technology opens up new world for local man who is legally blind

Published: Apr. 25, 2017 at 5:23 PM EDT
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A Williams county man has a whole new outlook on life, thanks to new technology.

It's called eSight. The electronic glasses are designed to help people with vision impairments like macular degeneration, see again.

Benjamin Murray got his first pair of eSight glasses last year, and he just picked up a new pair loaded with even more technology earlier this month.

The glasses cost thousands of dollars and they aren't covered by insurance, so the community came together to help make it happen.

Benjamin's world has completely changed, "I haven't smiled this much in a long time."

Benjamin has a condition called Optic Nerve Atrophy."Which basically means the fiber cables in my nerves aren't fully developed which doesn't allow me to see clearly. You look like you are 5-10 miles away from me. You would have to come up to me and say hey it's Lissa for me to know who it is."

Thanks to a pair of eSight glasses, he can now see things many of us take for granted, "The glasses give me the ability to see 20/20." Here's a quick snapshot of how the technology works. A camera records high definition video that's presented on two screens in a headset.The user carries a small controller that adjusts the video in real time

Benjamin first tried the technology in the fall of 2015. He got his own eSight glasses not long after that. Earlier this month, he went to Toronto to pick up the newest model,"The old model had 15 times zoom with 1.3 contrast. This model has 24 times zoom with WiFi and blue tooth. Down the road, I may even be able to stream live content like 13abc Action News!"

Dr. Tara Richmond has been Benjamin's optometrist for more than a decade, "It's definitely a change for him in his personality, his abilities his outlook on life and his desire to help others get the same technology. It has been transformational for him.He is now able to enjoy all the beautiful things the rest of us take for granted"

The community came together to help raise money for the glasses

Benjamin's two sets combined cost a total of more than $15,000.

Montpelier Police Chief Dan McGee was a big part of the effort, "What happens with young people, when they can finally see things most of us take for granted, is truly an amazing thing, I was so proud of our community. So many people stepped up to help make this happen. In addition to Benjamin, we were also able to help a girl in Montpelier get the eSight glasses too. It's hard to put the feeling you get form this effort into words "

And for all those who helped change his world, Benjamin plans to pay it forward, "The words thank you are never enough. Now it's about spreading the word and making sure others get the help they need."

Benjamin works at both his family business and a local radio station and he volunteers his time to help others. He is also an ambassador for eSight, helping spread the word about the life changing technology to others who could use it here in northwest Ohio and around the region.