Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crashing Through by Robert Kurson

At the age of three Mike May lost his sight. Being blind did not deter him from living his life fully--even when that meant taking incredible risks.

Mike's mother not only encouraged him, but at a time when educating a blind youngster in a sighted class was unheard of, she pursued that goal--and won.

With family backing and a spirit of insatiable curiosity Mike pursued life full tilt. That included trying things that would be frightening for a sighted person like skiing with a wild abandon down the hardest trails.

When an Opthamologist  informed him that he was a good candidate for revolutionary surgery to regain his sight he initially had doubts, but eventually opted to proceed. A successful surgery brought a series of set backs.

When someone hasn't seen since that early an age they will have visual processing deficits. Mike's depth perception was insufficient for navigating--he stumbled off curbs and walked into objects. He was bombarded with visual stimuli and no clue as to what he was seeing. 

Learning to read was too tedious so he continued to use Braille. Until he worked out how to navigate between the two worlds -- sighted and blind, his days were exhausting. In time he created ways to recall faces and some objects. 

He still used a guide dog to get around because there were elements of vision that won't return such as depth perception.

Non-Fiction Challenge — Science

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