Meet the Blind Month: Stephanae’s Journey

by Stephanae McCoy

It was 2005 and as long as I live I’ll never forget the moment it happened. I took out my right contact lens and while still looking in the mirror—my face vanished. 

 

Hi my name is Stephanae McCoy, abilities crusader and founder of www.boldblindbeauty.com a website designed to empower blind and visually impaired women while connecting sighted and non-sighted communities. Thank you Chelsey for inviting me to participate in your Meet The Blind Project for October.

 

My sight loss journey spanned four years and began with one macular hole in my left eye. There were no warning signs and the best I can surmise is that it happened sometime during the day it appeared or the night before. 

 

As a high myope (extremely nearsighted) all of my life, my contact lenses brought everything into clear focus. Since my prescription was so strong when I took out the right contactrendering my right eye almost sightlessthe remaining vision in my left eye couldn’t detect my face because of the macular hole. 

 

At the time of the first macular hole, I could still detect light and colors but everything I looked at with my left eye was distorted. It was like looking in a funhouse mirror where the jumbled reflection was similar to looking through a kaleidoscope.

 

Due to a number of factors my prognosis was extremely good and I was assured by my retina specialist that my sight would be restored. The restoration process included a number of surgical procedures which worked of a time, then failed. Fast forward four years with issues in both eyes including: a macular pucker, epiretinal membrane, retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, broken blood vessels, and uveitis I was declared legally blind.

 

I have no usable eyesight in my right eye and rely heavily on the residual sight in my left. Since I can no longer see the eye chart my doctors measure my vision with finger counting and hand waving. 

 

When I was declared legally blind this was the moment where I was told nothing more could be done. While it was true nothing more medically could be done I’m so thankful that wasn’t the end of my story. There are many tools and trainings available to help people who’ve lost their sight regain and sustain their independence.

 

Today I run Bold Blind Beauty sharing with the world the capabilities of blind and visually impaired people. The idea here is to dispel misconceptions and build awareness and appreciation for our unique attributes. Bold Blind Beauty believes Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.

 

You can connect with me on the following social media platforms:

 

Website: www.boldblindbeauty.com

Facebook: @BoldBlindBeauty

Twitter: @BoldBlindBeauty

Instagram: @BoldBlindBeauty

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