Yorkton woman regains vision through new technology
Published Monday, March 4, 2019 5:07PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 5, 2019 1:52PM CST
A Yorkton woman got the gift of sight thanks to some new technology and the support of her community.
A mother of two, Clariza Valquez-Perez suffers from a degenerative eye disease called Stargardt.
Stargardt destroys a person’s photoreceptor cells in the retina and it has left Valquez-Perez legall blind.
“Brightness affects me the most. I cannot see absolutely anything in front of me if it’s way too bright,” Valquez-Perez said.
Valquez-Perez wanted to help other so she took a job at the Yorkton Family Resource Centre.
Valquez-Perez’s employer, Kim Gelowitz, noticed her hard work and wanted to help her out since her treatment options were limited.
“Some of the other employees could just take the calendar and kind of look at when those activities were running,” Gelowitz said. “Claritza memorized the whole thing.”
Gelowitz learned about a new technology called eSight that could help Valquez-Perez get her sight back.
“How it works is it starts by taking a video shot of your surroundings and what it does is it puts it through a number of proprietary algorithms and prisms in order to show up on two LCD screens in front of the visually impaired person’s eyes,” said eSight rep Eric Down.
Valquez-Perez says eSight glasses can cost between $8,000 and $10,000 and it is not covered by insurance.
Gelowitz suggested a number of different fundraisers. Through three churches and two local organizations, $9,000 was raised for Valquez-Perez to buy the glasses.
Her husband Corey Lautamus says the new glasses have changed her life.
“Now she’s able to watch the girls in the house and that’s a lot of Claritza to be able to do that. It’s very meaningful,” he said.