Digital glasses help 12-year-old blind boy see mom for first time

A Virginia fifth-grader whose eye muscles never fully developed, leaving him legally blind, was finally able to see his mother with a technology called eSight. When Chris Ward, 12, set his eyes on his mom, he gave her a compliment that brought tears to her eyes.

“Well when I first saw my mom for the first time, she was pretty,” Ward told

Marquita Hackley, Ward’s mother, said, “I just broke down and cried.”

Ward also got to see words on a page for the first time.

“It was just amazing because he’s never been able to see details like that,” Hackley told

Ward’s digital glasses, produced by Toronto, Ontario-based eSight, operate with a high-speed camera that relays pixels in front of the user and transforms them into enhanced video that is then viewed with LED screens, according to the company’s website.

Although Ward has tested the glasses, his family’s insurance doesn’t cover their cost and they can’t foot their $15,000 price tag out of pocket.

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Hackley started a fundraiser with her church and has set up a crowdfunding page on YouCaring, reported.

While they wait for enough money to buy the glasses, Hackely said Ward would rely on techniques he’s already learned in school to help keep up with classmates. He uses a Braille typewriter for homework and an abacus for math lessons.

“It’s been an inspiration to me because he’s never complained about [his vision impairment],” Hackley told