A man from Brooklyn, New York who was blind for 20 years due to a genetic illness called Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy has regained most of his eyesight without any treatment from doctors.
55-year-old Kevin Coughlin, for many years, needed his guide dog; a black Labrador named Elias, to navigate the city as his only eyes. And since he was “unblinded” as he puts it, Coughlin has been walking Elias without a harness for several months now.
‘When I was completely blind I had this very self-conscious, tentative gait and now I have a joyful swagger. Being able to look around and up and down, it brings me so much joy,’ Coughlin said.
As mentioned in a CBS New York article dated December 3, 2016, Coughlin thought he was dreaming when one day in August 2014 the thick fog over his eyes was miraculously lifted.
“On August 14, 2014, I got up to go to the bathroom, I literally just was shocked that I was seeing a reflection of light in my medicine cabinet,” he said.
“I really thought I was dreaming,” he added.
Coughlin has regained 70 percent of his vision since then. He credited his healthy diet full of anti-oxidants, meditation and prayer with restoring his eyesight.
A doctor was amazed by his case and said the reversal of Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy was unheard of.
“I’m not aware of another case like this in medical history actually — a true Optic Neuropathy that resolved itself after 20 years. So it’s a fantastic story,” Dr. Susan Fromer, of Lenox Hill Hospital, said.
Today, Coughlin is enjoying New York’s newest buildings and has been taking pictures of the architecture since regaining his vision, but he said his favorite sight in the city is the face of Elias, his former guide dog.