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March 29th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

Human Factor: Losing sight, gaining a vision

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.  Isaac Lidsky was told by doctors at 13 that he'd go blind one day, but Lidsky hasn't let not being able to see get in the way of his success. Here is his story in his own words.

I find great peace in the knowledge that I will see my children.

When I was 13, a vision specialist told me I was slowly going blind.  He explained I had a genetic disease of the retina that would cause my photoreceptor cells to cease functioning and then expire.  There were no treatments or cures, he stressed, and he dispassionately suggested I should not hold out hope that any would be developed in my lifetime.  I was left searching for the right way to deal with it all.

A parade of angels showed me the way.  It began with my parents.  Devastated by the news, they somehow found the strength to seek out the leading medical researchers in the field.  This led us to University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where we found Dr. Samuel Jacobson.

He rescued my family.  Dr. Jacobson explained that he and other researchers had made much progress discovering treatments and cures, and in light of his apparent devotion to his work and obvious brilliance, this optimism gave us great hope.  Generous and caring, Dr. Jacobson has remained my treating physician to this day.  With his support, we gained the counsel and friendship of many of his peers—geniuses like him laboring to eradicate blindness.

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Filed under: Eyes • Human Factor

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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