Man receives new lease on life with eSight eyewear

A local man is getting a new lease on life and the ability to literally see things more clearly thanks to vision-enhancing glasses which, in some cases, can electronically restore sight to a person who has lost their vision.

Jason Dupre, 38, was only 8 years old when his parents were told by doctors that their son had a rare eye disease.

The family visited specialists from Houston to Miami and eventually were told that Dupre had Choroideremia, which is an inherited disorder that causes progressive vision loss, ultimately leading to complete blindness.

Vicki Dupre, who is Jason’s mother, said the family was told when her son was very young that he might not ever be able to drive a vehicle but she said he “overcame all odds” and got his permit and driver’s license by the time he was 15.

Throughout his years growing-up, Jason had minor vision problems but graduated from high school and later became a paramedic. As a paramedic, he drove an ambulance all over Louisiana and assisted patients through caring for wounds, delivering babies and, in some cases, saving lives.

He said it was a rewarding career that he greatly enjoyed but he noticed his vision slowing beginning to worsen.

In 2015, he married his wife, Erica, and before long they began to discuss how much they hoped to become parents one day. By 2016, doctors told Jason that his vision was 20/400, and he was now considered legally blind. He could no longer drive or do certain types of work.

Around that time, the couple decided to become certified foster parents with the intention of adopting. Nearly 10 months ago, they began fostering a 2-year-old girl. Not long after, they got a call about a 5-day-old baby boy.

While they have enjoyed happy times with the children they are fostering and hope to adopt, they have continued to seek answers for Jason’s situation.

Not long ago he visited with a company called e-Sight and found that he could be fitted with special sight-enhancing glasses that would allow him to see clearly. But the glasses cost $10,000 a pair. Even with that roadblock, he was able to eventually get a pair, which he said immediately changed everything in his world for the better.

“When I first put the glasses on, it was very emotional for me,” Jason said. “My sister and brother-in-law were with me at the time, and we all started crying because it was the first time in about eight years that I could really see everyone clearly.

“It’s been miraculous and absolutely life-changing for Jason and our family,” Vicki Dupre said. “I prayed for something like this for more than 30 years for my son.”

Although the company gave him a sample pair of the high-tech glasses to initially try out, his mother also started a gofund me page in an effort to raise money to help her son get a permanent pair of the glasses which he is now wearing. The fundraiser has brought in a little more than $3,000.

“Without the glasses, Jason cannot see the precious babies; in fact, he has to use his fingers to find the baby’s mouth to give him a bottle,” Vicki Dupre said. “Jason’s fondest dream was to be able to really see his family, get a job to support his family (right now he’s on disability), and be a productive member of society.”

For those trying to decipher how the glasses work, Jason says it’s like wearing a computer on one’s face. “The glasses aren’t that heavy though,” he said. “I have to charge them before I wear them each time and the charge only lasts a little less than three hours.”

Jason said he has been incredibly happy with the glasses and he still marvels at how much his life has changed since he got them.

The website for the company that makes the glasses, says, “eSight helps those with a visual impairment see the world – and change it too. Far beyond the limits of traditional assistive devices, eSight electronically restores sight for the visually impaired — including those who are legally blind — allowing them to participate in virtually any activity of daily living while remaining completely mobile.”

Jason said one humorous thing has happened regarding his eye wear. “Well, “I’ve had curious people come up and ask what’s going on and if I’m using the glasses to fly a drone or if I’m playing a virtual reality game,” he said. “Once I explain that the glasses have helped me to actually be able to see again, they are completely fascinated and want to hear all about it.”

He said he hopes that his experience and the fact that he’s sharing his story will help others who might be going through something similar.

“I feel very fortunate that I heard about the glasses and that this has worked so well for me,” Jason said. “My wife and my entire family has been there with me through all of this and words just can’t describe what a wonderful and supportive family I have. They are everything to me.”

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To learn more about Jason’s experience or to donate to the fundraiser, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/esight-glasses-for-my-blind-son.

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For more information about eSight, visit its website at: esighteyewear.com.””

Jason Dupre wearing his sight-restoring eSight glasses.

Special to the American Press

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