INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A local girl has a new outlook on life. Twelve-year-old Kaylee Marks went blind over the past two years. A rare disease took her vision away, but technology is giving it back.
"Kaylee and I were at the Kentucky horse park Breyerfest, and I was pointing out some huge horses. I got the response of 'uh huh' from a girl who since the moment she's been born loves horses," Kaylee's mom Brenda said.
That's the day two years ago when life got dark and blurry. Brenda took Kaylee to the Mayo Clinic where doctors gave a devastating diagnosis: she was legally blind.
"Of course my heart sank because we went from almost perfect vision to legally blind not knowing a thing what to do," Brenda said.
Kaylee has optic nerve atrophy. One day her mom came across some information about a pair of glasses called eSight. On Kaylee's next trip to the Mayo Clinic, Brenda saw a man wearing the glasses, and he let her try his on.
"She stared at me probably for 5 to 10 minutes with the biggest smile on her face. And I was like can you see me? What's going on? And she was like, 'Yeah, I can see you,'" Brenda said.
The glasses cost $10,000, and they are not covered by insurance. The family started a fundraising campaign to help pay for the upkeep.
"They help me see further distance like arenas at horse shows," Kaylee said.
eSight houses a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures everything you're looking at, and then displays it, allowing Kaylee to see some of her favorite things like "my dogs and my mom and dad."
Kaylee attends Sensible Solutions where leader Josh Lloyd helps children like Kaylee deal with life changes that bring about stress and behavior changes. He says eSight has completely changed Kaylee's life.
"You have a girl who could barely communicate what was going on, she would interact, she never wanted to be in groups, she never wanted to participate in art to someone who that fully wants to be engaged," Lloyd said.
Kaylee says she's excited to attend and see her cousin's graduation inside a large arena.