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Mar 3, 2016 5:07 PM

Manchester man dreams of being able to see again, with help from high-tech glasses


MANCHESTER - Andrew Crook is legally blind -- his retina began deteriorating at birth.

"When I went for my first eye test in school, that's when they found out," he said.

There's no cure for the condition, but he gets around with help from his seeing eye dog, Benson, and with his wife and their young son.

Alissa and Andrew were high school sweethearts and have been together for 11 years, but it wasn't until Andrew put on a pair of e-sight glasses that he really looked into Alissa's eyes.

"I could see her eyes. I could see the whites of her eyes I could see her iris, detail that even 5, 10 years ago i couldn't see," he recalled.

It was an emotional moment for them both.

E-sight eyewear digital glasses are like virtual reality glasses that work for certain types of blindness.

Andrew has 20/600 vision, so what an average person sees at 600 feet, he has to be 20 feet away to see, He also has black spots and no peripheral vision. But with the e-sight glasses, his vision improved to 20/40.

For Andrew and his family, the chance for him to see again would allow for an independence they have never known. But the bittersweet part is that the glasses aren't covered by insurance.

At a cost of $15,000, it's more than they can afford.

"Ever since I came back from Boston, and I was afraid this was going to happen, I keep thinking how would this be different if I had the glasses on," he said.

In hopes of making Andrew's vision more than just a memory, they've set up a GoFundme page to try to raise money for the glasses.

"I saw my son. I saw his little cockeyed smile, so now he's going to have to watch out if I get the glasses because I'm going to keep an eye on him better," Crooks said, laughing.


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