Pastor Donnie Parret, of Jackson County, Kentucky, has spent the majority of his life without the benefits of his sight. A brain tumor at the age of six was life-threatening, and young Parret needed surgery. He recounts the story of the ordeal, “Before the surgery, they sat my parents down and prepared them for me to die but I had the surgery and the only side effect was I have permanent optic nerve damage.”
The resultant damage left Parret with minimal eyesight, and legally blind. He even describes his sight as completely ending at around twenty feet away. Parret didn’t allow his disability to conquer his life, of course, he married his wife Leisa in 1983, and currently has children and three grandchildren. When his youngest son approached him about a new technology called eSight, Parret was skeptical that the device would be able to help him regain his vision.
Going to Cincinnati for a trial run, the experience was quite different than his expectations. The device uses a camera which projects onto a screen visor over the patient’s eyes. It isn’t infallible; the device only works because Parret retains some rudimentary functioning in his vision, but for the many others with conditions like his, the difference was staggering.
“I saw my grandbabies for the first time and it was amazing,” Parret said of his experience. And he even gained new appreciation for what he believed was well enough beforehand, saying of his wife Leisa, “I looked up and for the first time I really saw Leisa and I said Leisa you are more beautiful than I thought you were.”
After Parret’s initial trial run, his loved ones raised $10,000 for him to get his own personal pair of eSight glasses.