Note: This was originally written between 2000 – 2004.
Very soon after I was born, my parents knew there was something different about me. When I was six months old, the pupils in my eyes were still white. The baby doctor said, “That’s normal, his pupils will clear up.” My parents knew there was something wrong and took me to an ophthmalogist. The eye doctor told them I had cataracts in both eyes and was totally blind. My parents hurt sunk with the news. The eye doc told them there was this new procedure to remove cataracts which didn’t exist six months before. This was back in 1966. The procedure was to drill holes in my lenses so I would have a “window” to see through. There was a 50/50 chance of success. My parents reasoned that some sight would be better then no sight. At that moment my mom prayed and put my life in God’s hands. The surgery was a success but I had four more surgeries in the four years to follow to make the “window” bigger. My vision was 20/200 in both eyes up until last year. More about this later. Has God kept me in his hands like my mom asked Him to? Absolutely, yes! I graduated from a very good University with a B.S. in Computer Science. I’m now working for NASA supporting the International Space Station. Things were not always rosy. My parents guided me but they let me choose my own path. They only insisted that I go to college because I needed the edge due to my vison. They never told me, “You won’t be able to do that!” or “You will end up on welfare.” They were encouraging me to live my dreams. When I was four years old after seeing the Apollo 13 splash down in the ocean after their almost tragic end, I told my parents that I wanted to work for NASA. I never said I wanted to be an astronaut but I did want to work for NASA in some way even it was to be a grounds keeper. Back to the rosy stuff. about three years ago, my eye doctors determined I had a detached retina in my left eye that had probably been tare for 10 to 15 years. Detached retinas and glaucoma is a long term effect of the surgeries I had as a baby. So, it was not unexpected. Fortunately the detached area was mostly outside of my area of vision. I had eye surgery in lat ’98 to try to reattach it. Two years later it had not done so. So, I had surger in late ’00. This time, a different technique was used. It worked but caused my iris to flatten against my cornea blocking the eye’s natal drains (not the tear ducts). This resulted in dangerously high pressure in the eye and I had surgery to correct that problem a week later. My vision has dropped in my left eye to 20/400 but the goal was to stop my vision from getting any worse. After both retina surgeries, I was out of work for four to six weeks. But, I’m back at my job and still doing good. I knew that no matter what happened with these surgeries, God was in control and things bold be OK. Life may have become a little more difficult but I’m still OK. This trust has been and will continue to be an important part of my life