Pull the Kleenex close because this next story will give you all the fuzzy vibes.
In 2004, Mary Sedgwick was diagnosed with bilateral optic neuritis, an “myelinitis of the optic nerve” that causes visual restriction and blindness.
Spurred on by her new condition, the North Carolina resident fell into a depression, a phase she eventually broke down when in 2010 she was paired with her guide dog, a golden retriever named Lucy.
LOL: The mischievous guide dog keeps redirecting his human to the pet supply store
The good girl helped restore a measure of Sedgwick’s independence, and the duo developed a deep bond as a result. Even so, “the question of what her faithful dog looked like weighed heavily on her mind.” But with the help of a pair of high-end eyeglasses from eSight, the former doctor secured his eyes with her loyal companion last month at a conference — and the moment captured on a smartphone, now viral, will melt you into a puddle.
Watch the full clip (with volume for full effect) in the embed below!
Another video that adds context to Sedgwick and Lucy’s relationship.
On Twitter, commenters were in agreement that (a) we didn’t deserve dogs, (b) technology could be used for good, and (c) that women’s outpouring of emotion was the most precious thing of all.
“I’m not crying, it’s the allergy.” , a woman wrote.
I’m not crying, it’s the allergy. Look at these beautiful eyes: Blind woman sheds tears when she sees her guide dog for the first time with special glasses that allow her to see https://t.co/X7HegIpzU2
— AC Spollen (@ACSpollen) May 21, 2018
“Aww super sweet brightened my day. 🤗,” another emojied.
Aww super sweet brightened my day. 🤗☺️
— prettyplumies (@prettyplumies) May 24, 2018
“If this does not melt your heart, you have no heart to melt,” said one man.
If this does not melt your heart, you have no heart to melt. https://t.co/o75oDx4NuX
— Ken Webster Jr (@ProducerKen) May 24, 2018
Unfortunately, the story is not complete without the downside.
Because the Spectacles, profiled publicly last year by BuzzFeed, are both new and experimental, they come with a hefty price tag: $10,000 or so.
To ease this burden, Sedgwick launched a crowdfunding campaign, and donations spurred on by media reports have rounded most of that number. In light of this success, she reset the target to $30,000 in hopes of buying two more pairs for others who also suffer from bilateral optic neuritis.
OMG: Blind Man Records Daily Commute with GoPro Attached to Guide Dog
On her page, she explains just how high-tech converting – and editing – can be:
“It has a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures whatever you’re looking at and displays it on two displays that come close to your eyes. Medical algorithms optimize the footage so you can see it in real time. These glasses restored some of your remaining vision.
There are no words to describe how I felt when I saw the face of my beloved family and friends and Lucy’s beautiful, tender eyes for the first time! My heart has been racing from that moment on, and my mind has been bursting with the possibility the future holds.”
To learn more about Marie’s illness and what you can do to help, visit Giving.com.