GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — When he was three years old, Dawn Russello noticed there was something unusual about her son Alexander.
“Everything he was doing in school, he kind of had his face in everything,” Dawn recalled. “If he was doing a puzzle, he’d have his face down on the table.”
At five, Alexander was diagnosed with optic atrophy, a condition that affects the nerves in the eyes.
“Recess was difficult in elementary school because he wouldn’t be able to find his friends on the playground,” Dawn said. “Having him come home sad because he had no one to play with at recess … those times were very difficult.”
“I can see most details when I’m close, but from afar I can’t see any details,” Alexander explained. “I can see the shapes of objects and usually identify them, but … if there’s words on them, I can’t see them.”
Alexander’s vision impairment makes everyday tasks difficult. At home, he relies on a large CCTV machine to do homework. At school he carries one from classroom to classroom.
“In the classroom, with my CCTV it was always hard to talk to other people at my table,” Alexander said “It was so big that it would it would stop me from talking to them because if I said something it would be hard for them to hear it.”
But that recently changed when Alexander received a pair of eSight glasses.
“I couldn’t believe that I could see something that was far away as clear as I could,” Alexander said.
The eSight’s lens contains a high definition camera that captures everything Alexander looks at.
“And the computer translates it and projects it onto two TV screens within the glasses,” Dawn added.
Using a controller, Alexander can adjust the focus and brightness, and even zoom in.
“It was amazing because I now have a lot more independence,” Alexander explained.
For example, he can now navigate the kitchen with ease.
“I cook for my entire family almost every day,” Alexander said of his hobby. “You name it, I cook it.”
Dawn says the glasses open up a world of opportunity for her son.
“My hope is that he can go on to go to college and be successful in life and be comfortable being part of society,” Dawn said.
The eSight glasses cost $10,000. Alexander received his thanks to a successful fundraiser by his friends and family in Guilford.
To learn more about eSight glasses, visit eSightEyewear.com.