Mary Sedgwick was a medical student when she found out that she had bilateral optic neuritis.
It eventually caused her to go blind. She wasn’t going to be able to live her dreams and be a physician like she had always hoped. She explained:
“My whole identity I had of myself was as a physician, and suddenly that view of myself vanished. I struggled for several years trying to land my feet on the ground and claw myself out of a deep depression.”
Things weren’t all bad, though; Mary was matched with a seeing eye dog named Lucy, and the two became best friends.
From the moment they met, they were inseparable, and Mary depended on her to help her navigate the world without her sight.
She described the moment they met, saying:
“She came leaping into my arms, licking my face, and knocking me out of my chair. I knew in that moment, with the instantaneous bond between Lucy and I, my journey in life was beginning again.”
Over the years, Lucy and Mary have gotten closer.
As Mary’s vision got worse, her bond with Lucy got stronger. Mary only wished that she could see her amazing friend with her own eyes. She said:
“Lucy serves as my eyes guiding me through life. She has been trained to alert me to anything that will hinder my forward progress with each step. There is a trust like no other you place in your guide dog, feeling every movement of their body flowing through the harness to your hand.”
Lucy is more than just a working dog, she is a comfort for Mary, as well.
Lucy is like most pets and loves to snuggle and get affection from Mary. Mary is always happy to give it to her, too. She said:
“Lucy is extremely affectionate, especially when her very long tongue showers you with wet, slobbery kisses. She exudes her excitement for life, and it is contagious.”
While Mary had gotten used to her poor vision, she always hoped that one day she would be able to see again.
She was lucky enough to get to try some eSight electronic glasses. The glasses use reflections and screens to help override a person’s visual limitations. Mary was nervous at first and was afraid they wouldn’t work for her. Still, she decided to give them a try. She said:
“Once they were turned on, I could see the details of Lucy’s face, her beautiful, soulful eyes and her curly eyelashes. I was overwhelmed with emotion because I was experiencing a moment that I never dreamt would be possible. The gift of being able to see the external beauty of Lucy matched perfectly to the inner beauty I have always known.”
Lucy was the first thing Mary saw with the glasses, and she couldn’t have been happier.
Her dog was right by her side, and Mary loved that she could finally see the adorable face of her faithful friend. She was thrilled to see Lucy, let alone to see at all, and she hopes that it won’t be a one-time thing for her. She explained:
“By being given the opportunity to see Lucy in all her beauty has given me hope my life could change drastically with these glasses. The gift of sight will open door after door for me and I am ready to take the next step on my journey, always with Lucy by my side.”
Right now, the glasses are too expensive for her to afford, but she hopes to be able to buy them in the future.
She has created a fundraiser to raise money to help her purchase the glasses. She is hoping that she and Lucy will have many more adventures together once she can see again. Until then, she is happy to let Lucy lead her where she needs to go and has complete trust in the golden retriever.
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