PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB)– Five local children with severe visual impairment were gifted life-changing devices to improve their sight. The devices were gifted by Sight Savers America, a non-profit that specializes in low-vision eye care. Sight Savers provides electronic magnifiers to children in need.
“We work with our local partners to identify children. Any child in Bay County and Walton County that are considered low vision and need these kinds of devices but cannot afford them, we will get it for them,” said Jeff Haddox, CEO of Sight Savers America.
The device costs $2,500 and is not covered by insurance. Sight savers raises money to pay for the devices through fundraisers, grants and donations.
“The device provides them with equipment that will magnify images 118 times larger than normal, it increases contrast, it can change the colors of the image because certain children have certain eye diseases, they can see certain colors better,” said Haddox.
The device allows children to see small details. It also allows them to independently carry out tasks where they previously needed assistance.
“I learned how to do things more. I learned how to see better when I was writing. I wouldn’t have to strain my eyes or my back anymore to write or to read,” said Maia Graves, a recipient of the Onyx EVM.
Along with the device, patients also receive lifetime support consisting of check-ups and follow-ups.
Currently, Sight Savers has helped every child in Bay County that is medically and financially eligible. The non-profit plans on returning to Bay County next year to help more children in need.