'I've got a second chance at life.' Program Helps Blind Man See Again

Around 19 percent of people go blind because of diabetes. One healthcare provider's focused attention on one man's needs is the reason he can see again.

SUMTER, SC (WLTX) - A state grant program is helping patients get a second chance at life, and one healthcare provider's attention on one man's needs is the reason he can see again.

When Dan Wilson stumbled into Palmetto Health Tuomey Hospital in Sumter, he knew he was in trouble.

"It started in my right eye at first, and my sight just went automatic in my right eye, pretty much. But in my left eye, it seemed like someone was drawing a curtain closed or turning the lights down slowly," Wilson explained.

As the Healthy Outcomes coordinator, Miss Marian Baker is as much an educator as she is a healthcare provider.

"The first day I met him was when he couldn't see. He has just been so appreciative," said Baker.

Baker would make frequent trips to Wilson's room just to talk to him and see how he was doing.

"We just started talking and he just opened up and told me everything," said Baker.

Wilson says going through diabetes has been one of the toughest experiences of his life.

"I felt like I was on my way out and by on my way out I mean about to die," said Wilson.

It was tough going through the pain of it all, but Baker and Wilson were able to talk to each other to help him through it.

"She is a wonder. She is the person I have a lot of respect for," said Wilson.

For two and a half years, a disease that affects millions of Americans slowly robbed Wilson of his vision.

"I was 240 pounds, but struggling with diabetes, I dropped all the way down to 110 pounds," said Wilson.

After having surgery on his cataracts, Wilson has a different perspective on life.

"I can see now. Like I said, I feel like I've got a second chance at life. I never had a greater appreciation than that day to the clouds, the three and all the little things you take for granted," said Wilson.

Baker said it was an amazing moment when she realized Wilson could see.

"I came to see him the day after, and I came to the door and knocked on the door and he looked towards my way and he said, 'Marian Baker,' and I said, 'How did you know,' and he said, 'I just did,'" explained Baker.

Now, he has a new vision for his future.

"I feel real good about going into society now, taking on what I need to take on for myself," said Wilson.

Wilson says he's looking forward to taking full advantage of his eyesight and what his future holds. He says he has a new faith in mankind.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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