Fla. Woman Blind for 23 Years Regains Sight - NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Fla. Woman Blind for 23 Years Regains Sight

"I always knew in my heart that God was going to let me have my eyesight back. I knew it"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Woman Blind for 23 Years Sees Again After Spinal Surgery

    Mary Ann Franco, a southwest Florida woman who was blind for 23 years following a car accident, is seeing again thanks to a miracle that happened during a spinal surgery. (Published Friday, May 13, 2016)

    For a 70-year-old Florida woman, seeing came after believing.

    Mary Ann Franco was blind for 23 years. The former nurse lost her vision in 1993 after she was involved in a car crash and suffered a stroke.

    "Nothing. I couldn't see anything. However Hell felt, I felt like I was there," Franco said.

    Franco, however, didn't allow blindness to stop her. For two decades, she took up hobbies like painting, drawing and even skydiving.

    Woman, 93, Rescued From Camp Fire by Her Garbageman

    [NATL] Woman, 93, Rescued From Camp Fire by Her Garbageman

    Margaret Newsum, 93, had no idea that the Camp Fire was rapidly approaching her Magalia home until her caretaker left for the day and she turned on the television. She was quickly rescued by her friend Dane Ray Cummings, who decided to break company policy and rescue Newsum with his Waste Management truck. KCRA reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018)

    "So you can't see, so what? Get up and get moving and stuff, and I did," Franco said.

    But after falling on uneven tiles in her home, Franco needed spinal realignment surgery. She woke up in the hospital and noticed something different — she could see.

    Dr. John Afshar, Franco's neurosurgeon, was shocked by the outcome.

    Afshar, whose procedure was not meant to help Franco's vision, believes blood flow may have been restored to an area in Franco's spine where nerve cells were dormant.

    "She's my miracle patient. She basically amazed me," he said.

    With her newly regained vision, Franco is working toward her driver's license and plans to visit family in Michigan, including grandchildren who she hasn't been able to look at since they were babies.

    "Everything comes back so nice and easy," she said from behind the wheel.

    Franco said she never gave up believing her eyesight would be restored.

    "I always knew in my heart that God was going to let me have my eyesight back. I knew it," she said.