Young Boy Collects Visual Memories Before Going Blind
While most nine-year-old boys are learning to play video games or baseball, Ben Pierce is learning to become blind.
He practices using a walking stick and his parents have encouraged him to learn Braille.
Ben was born at 23 weeks gestation, more than four months early. He weighed one pound and six ounces. He was so underdeveloped that his eyelids were still fused shut.
At that time, his chance of survival was considered remote. His parents were warned repeatedly to prepare for the worst.
“My hope was I’d just get to see him before he passed,” said Heidi Thaden-Pierce, Ben’s mother, “I just wanted to be out of the general [anesthetic] long enough to see him and say ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye.’”
“He had just crash after crash,” said Ben’s dad, Kit Pierce. “But he kept pulling through.”
Despite the odds, Ben is healthy today. Healthy, except for his eyes. He has had to have eye surgery.