Hello, my name is Anthony M. I’ve had my artificial eye for 10 years now (I’m 25 years old). When I was 15 years old I was hit by a bottle-rocket (firework) in my right eye, then I went through 4 surgeries trying to repair my eye so that I could see once again. After months of seeing specialist it was then determined that I would have to get my right eye removed and receive an artificial eye. I was devastated, nervous, and scared at the same time, know that life would change for me and that I would not be viewed as normal again. At the time I was just entering my 8th grade year and I was in and out of school that school year since I was having operations on my eye. When I would go back to school there were some students that was more sensitive to what had happen to me and there were some that made fun of the eye patch that I had to wear while going through with the operations. There would be some days when the teasing and nastiness from the students would be so intense! that I would seclude myself in my room and just cry until I could not cry anymore. After the final operation to remove my right eye had taken place, I would dream every night for the next couple months that I could see out of my eye and I would wake up upset because I realized that it was just a dream and that I would never be able to see again out of my eye. After a couple weeks I went back to school (still wearing the eye patch) and some of my friends wanted to see the inside of my eyeless socket and I would show them and at this point I started restoring some of the confidence I had lost from losing my eye. In the following months I finally received my artificial eye and I was happy that I did not have to wear that eye patch anymore.
I ended graduating high school with Academic Honors, and then soon enrolled at Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis where I graduated with a 3.1 GPA. While in college I had a class that would change the way I viewed my situation. The class session dealt with “displaying your insecurities”, one class session the teacher stood up in a chair and talked about her insecurities (being a heavy set woman, her thick glasses, etc…). The whole class would have to do it, so I decide to talk about the day that I lost my right eye. This was my first time ever talking with a group of strangers about my eye, at the end of my session the teacher asked would I take out my eye and guess what?? I took it out and the students were amazed because I had the courage to display something so personal. This was an amazing confidence boosting activity that I experienced and it had helped me regain a lot of my confidence and motivation.
This bring us to today, I have three handsome young men (ages 2, 3, and 7), I am still continuing my education at Anderson Fall’s School of Business completing my MBA (this is my last year; thank god), I have a wonderful girlfriend who supports me in everything I do and who I can talk about my situation with. Even through all my great accomplishments I still tend to think about my eye from time to time. I believe that there should be a foundation that helps get individuals through the loss of a eye or body part, because when this happens it’s like you lose a piece of yourself. So I’m in the process of starting a foundation that would help “our” culture of people get through the grieving process and unite people through worldwide events. One thing that I recently realized is, that I’m not the only one going through this by myself, there are thousands of individuals out in the world just like me that needs help dealing with their unique situation. I believe no matter how ! long you’ve been dealing with your situation, there is no way that you will completely be over it, but to cope with it with others would be simply amazing I think.
If I met someone today who was facing eye loss, I would tell them not to give up; it’s going to be a long hard road with “clueless” individuals who doesn’t know your pain. As long as you hold true to your values and morals and want to do better you WILL. Just be yourself, don’t worry about trying to gain others acceptance, we are a rare breed of individuals. Many people do not know how it feels to lose an eye; they couldn’t even begin to imagine how it feels. From that day 10 years ago, I know I’ve changed as a person for the better. The gift of sight and all the colors that are displayed in this beautiful world is something that should not be taken for granted I’ve learned. So every day I wake up I’m constantly thanking god for reminding me to be thankful for life, the ups and downs, and just everything that comes with being human. Be blessed.
Feel free to email me; firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m all about making lifetime connections!
Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you 🙂