PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the first time in 25 years of teaching at Cardinal O’Hara, Ed Allen can see what the hall ways really look like.
“It’s awesome just being able to see this building,” Allen said.
His awesome new world is thanks to the funny looking glasses called eSight.
“It’s life changing,” Allen said. “It levels the playing field that I never thought would happen.”
Allen was diagnosed with a genetic retina disorder called Stargardt at age 15 and while legally blind, he’d been able to maneuver with his peripheral vision.
But now he can see clearer with eSight.
“When I first put them on, it was really crazy…,” Allen said. “I was in my house and I just looked around and I went, ‘Wow.’ This is what it looks like for real and it was amazing.”
The technology works with a camera in the glasses and a computer that instantly processes video onto screens in front of the users eyes.
Allen remembers when he first tried them.
“My two daughters and I could see them and tears came to my eyes,” he said.
Allen has the $10,000 glasses thanks to the kindness of strangers, along with friends and colleges — they donated 5,000. Then an anonymous Delaware County company kicked in the rest.
“I’m very appreciative and grateful,” he said.
Now, Allen, a math teacher, who also once ran the theater program can watch rehearsals, enjoying every vivid detail with his mom and fiancée by his side.
Allen wants to pay it forward, hoping to help others and is looking forward to going to Phillies games, Disney and when school starts in September, he’s really excited about seeing his students and the expressions on their faces.