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BALDWYN, MISS (WCBI) – Jane Thomason has reason to celebrate.

“You’re just estatic, everyday you wake up, you see something new,” Thomason said.

The 62 year old lifelong Northeast Mississippi resident has suffered from low vision all her life. In the early 1950s, many babies were born with a condition known as retinopathy of prematurity. That means Jane has been legally blind and has endured many complications.

“I’ve had in the past, glaucoma, detached retina and also numerous surgeries, lens implant, in the left eye, I can’t see very much out of right eye,” she said.

But last fall, Jane’s doctor referred her to North Mississippi Medical Center’s Low vision Rehabilitation Services. As occupational therapist Cheri Nipp looked on, Jane was able to use a CCTV to read a book for the first time.

Now, Jane spends two to three hours a day reading, viewing family photos and other material with a CCTV device at her house. She says being able to read is a gift and a blessing.

“It’s like waking up one morning and seeing the sun shine and knowing that it’s a bright yellow. It’s like you learn to live with over the years, like a haze or a cloud or a fog and it’s really different,” Thomason said.

She is also able to read labels on prescription medicine with a special magnifier.

Her therapist says special tests can be conducted on people suffering with low vision to determine which method and device can help them read on their own.

Nipp says it’s rewarding to help patients like Jane.

“I couldn’t ask for a better job that gives me blessings, people who are reading things they couldn’t read before, people who are afraid to walk out their front door because they can’t see their steps, people who can read their bible, simple pleasure of reading their bible everyday,” Nipp said.

As for Jane, she has only one regret.

“I wish I had known about these facilities before and I’m hopeful other people will find out about them,” she said.


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