October 17th, 2012
07:36 AM ET

Drum Major hopes to change perception of visually impaired

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile 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. This week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to 22-year-old college senior Paul Heddings, who leads one of the largest college marching bands in the United States.

September 7, 2007, is a day I will never forget.

That was the day I learned my life was going to change forever. I was 17 years old and leading a typical high school life in Carrollton, Missouri.

I loved sports, especially playing on my high school’s baseball team. I was also very invested in extracurricular activities like band, show choir and speech/debate.  I thought I had my life planned out before me when that day in September happened.

I went to the eye doctor thinking I needed a new contact lens prescription and instead was sent to the emergency room to undergo the first of several invasive surgeries.

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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.