By Brelaun Douglas via SWNS
This emotional video shows a woman who was blind for 15 YEARS seeing her daughter's face again for the first time.
Connie Parke, 59, of Aurora, Colorado, was left completely blind after doctors misdiagnosed her operable cataracts.
The mom-of-four began rapidly losing her vision in 2003, after noticing halos and prisms on lights while driving.
“Three weeks later, I had lost even more sight and peripheral vision,” said Parke.
She was told by multiple doctors that she had detached retinas or severe glaucoma, and that her loss of sight would be permanent and irreversible.
“I didn't believe it until I started hurting myself,” she said.
“I was getting lost, falling down stairs, falling up stairs and setting myself and my house on fire.
“I had lost over 85% of my sight in five and a half months.”
In 2014 Parke relocated from Montana to Colorado to attend blind school.
Empowered with the skills she learned in blind school Parke continued with the activities she had loved before, such as ice skating, kayaking, camping and attending sporting events and concerts.
“I was so happy to be in the nosebleeds screaming my lungs out and not seeing anything,” she said.
“I just lived life as much as I possibly could the way I did before I lost my sight.”
Still, she found some things difficult to adjust to.
“I wasn't really sure to how to use a cane and I would keep walking into bushes,” she said.
“I had to have somebody with me when I cooked to make sure the food looked okay.
“I couldn’t vacuum and had to sweep in a pattern, or I would lose my pile.”
In 2018, Parke was referred to the UCHealth Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center where an ophthalmologist told her she was suffering not from a detached retina, but very dense cataracts. Surgery was suggested.
“On November 12th, Dr. SooHoo did my right eye. When they took my patch off the next day the first thing I saw was the nurse’s eyebrow, eyelashes and pupil and I started crying,” Parke said.
“She had me read an eye chart and the first line I read was 20/20.
“I think the doctor was as surprised as me because he had made it perfectly clear he wasn’t promising me measurable vision.
“I had the second eye done and right after Thanksgiving, I was seeing 20/20 out of both eyes.”
Initially angered by the misdiagnosis, Parke said her indignation melted once she could see again.
“The day the retina specialist told me he saw no diseased retinas, my husband and I instantly got upset,” she said.
“People need to get rechecked because I was blind for 15 years, probably for no reason, they've been doing cataract surgeries for years.
“I had a little resentment towards the doctors that couldn’t find anything wrong or told me all these things were wrong, the God’s honest truth is the day they took the patch off my eye, and I could see, it took all that anger away.”
Now, Connie has retired her guide dog Talulah Mae to a regular dog and has a job as a unit clerk with UCHealth.
She has been able to see her eldest grandchild for the first time since she was an infant, and her other eight grandkids for the first time ever.
“The eldest doesn't look anything like she looked when she was three weeks old,” Parke joked.
She also enjoys gazing at things that most people take for granted.
“People think it's tedious to watch grass grow, but when you haven't seen a blade of grass in years, you watch the grass grow.”
But it was painful to discover how she'd aged in 15 years.
“The hardest thing was looking in the mirror, because I never thought about myself aging,” she said.
“I had no idea who that was looking back at me.”
She was, however, delighted to see her husband Robert again.
“He’s still the most handsome man ever and I'm still completely in love with him," she said.
Now Parke is excited to retake the vacations the couple had been on while she was blind.
“He took me to the Oregon coast, Yellowstone and all through the Rockies. Now I just want to go see it again,” she said.
“Well, I want to go see it.”
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