When Joy Hoke’s daughter got engaged in October 2014, she was beyond excited — but also saddened that she wouldn’t be able to see her only daughter walk down the aisle.
“I want to see the joy in her eyes as she is saying ‘I Do.’ I want her to know that I can see the love in her face as she smiles when the ring is slipped onto her finger,” Joy, who is legally blind, wrote on a GoFundMePage.
For most of her life, Joy had perfect vision. But in 2013, she lost her eyesight due to non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, which is the “loss of blood flow to the optic nerve,” according to Dr. Dan-Victor Giurgiutiu and Dr. Sashank Prasad.
“[Lauren and Jeremy] were dating for six months when I lost my vision,” Joy told The Huffington Post. “Lauren really struggled with me losing my vision and Jeremy was her lifeline as we all struggled through this uncharted territory.”
When Joy heard about a bulky pair of $15,000 high-tech glasses by a company called eSight that could enable her to see Lauren’s May 7 wedding, she knew she had to have them.
Joy created a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising the funds. Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, she met and exceeded her $15,000 goal and was able to see her daughter walk down the aisle.
“Watching Lauren get married was an answered prayer for me,” Joy told The Huffington Post. “I was absolutely ecstatic.”
In this September 15, 2015 The Daily Item interview, Joy explains how to use her new eyewear.
There’s a camera inside the eSight headset that captures a live video stream of everything the user is looking at. The video is then sent to a computer that processes the data and sends it back to the headset in a form users can see, displayed right in front of their eyes.
Joy and her husband Dave introduced Lauren and Jeremy. They had known Jeremy for years, but Lauren was less than enthusiastic about meeting him initially.
“Lauren and her roommate Katie were sitting in their apartment one evening,” Joy said. “Just to be funny, Lauren drafted a private Facebook message to Jeremy saying, ‘I’ve heard from a couple different people that you and I should meet.’ She showed it to Katie and much to Lauren’s surprise, Katie then pressed the ‘send’ button.”
The pair, who are both teachers, started dating in July 2013 and got engaged in October 2014. They married on May 7 at Witmers United Methodist Church in Port Trevorton, Pennsylvania.
H/T The Daily Item
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