Bedford County fifth-grader sees for first time

BEDFORD CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A Bedford County mom is defying the doctors who told her there was nothing she could do to help her son.

As a fifth grader, Chris Ward has learned to do what many will never. His homework assignments are typed on this braille typewriter, his math done with an abacus. This 12-year-old is never short on humor -- or determination.

Marquita Hackley, his mother, said, “It's been an inspiration to me because he's never complained about it. He's picked up on it so well.”

Chris is considered legally blind. His eye muscles never fully developed, but his mother never gave up.

"It was great to be able to actually experience that and know that there's something out there that's actually able to improve his vision,” she said.

They went to Washington DC a couple weeks ago with his teacher to try a relatively new technology called eSight. Chris saw a whole lot of firsts.

Christopher Ward said, “Well when I saw my mom for the first time, she was pretty.”

He was also able to read words on a page.

"I just broke down and cried,” Hackley said. “It was just amazing because he's never been able to see details like that."

He would no longer be considered blind but his insurance won't cover the $15,000 glasses.

"It was kind of a low blow,” said Hackley. “Because of course it's something you'd love insurance to be able to cover or at least part of it."

Now, mom is trying to figure out how to give her son sight. That way, he can learn to read like many others already do.

"Once I read print books with the glasses, I'll be home free,” Ward said.

Chris' classmates are putting together a fundraiser at his school. His mom is working on a fundraiser at church, and she has a page where people can donate online. Find that on the right side of this article under “related links," or click here for the fundraising information.