DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A blind man gets the gift of a lifetime - his sight back.
It's been nearly a decade since David Hereid Jr. has been able to see, but thanks to new electronic glasses - now he can.
"My dad sat here all morning yesterday wearing a red shirt," David said. "Until I put the glasses on I didn't know he was wearing a red shirt."
David is legally blind. He said most of what he sees is a blur, so he uses the minimal peripheral vision he has. However, David's life was not always this way. David's father, Dave Hereid Sr., said his son used to be a volunteer firefighter in Long Grove and Bettendorf and an EMT in Galesburg. Dave said David's biggest concern after going blind was how he could ever help people again.
"When he lost that ability it was just heartbreaking for him," Dave said. "He lost all of that and I can't tell you how heartbreaking that was for him and for me."
"I had 20/20 vision," David said. "And I was building the deck one day, I went to bed that day and woke up to a painful eye."
Unfortunately, what doctors thought could be fixed with simple eye drops was actually a rare disease called Multifocal Choroiditis. David's own body had started to attack the white blood cells in his eyes. A disease so uncommon, David said, it affects less than 1% of the world's population.
Still, he admits the moment was bittersweet.
"There’s some mixed feelings," David said. "I got custom to this life without them. I’ve adapted and overcome a lot of trial and error… So it was the end of a chapter, but its beginning of a new one. And we’re on page one of that chapter."