CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Cubs fan hasn’t seen the sights of Wrigley Field since a terrible accident left him blind.
In this original report, Jim Williams tells us how new technology helps him see the action on the field
It’s a reunion years in the making; Andy Fabino and his favorite ballpark, five years after a brutal attack by a family member left him blind.
“I went to a family member’s house to visit. I woke up 14 days later not knowing or why I had a tube in my throat and why I couldn’t see,” Fabino said. “In my mind I thought, ‘No big deal. They’re cut me open, flip the switch and the light will come right back on.'”
Doctors would not be able to restore Andy’s eyesight. But he’s painting pictures in his mind, with his tongue.
Dr. Janet Szlyk CEO, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind said: “I liken it to champagne bubbles that are popping on your tongue and you’re able to see the imprint of the world.”
Imprints are created by this device called the Brainport.
A tiny camera captures an image then sends a vibration to Andy’s tongue, tracing the shape of the image.
“I come behind and put a zero on your back. Now you didn’t see me do it. But you felt it. Your brain felt the image. It told you there’s a zero on your back. Well, this device works the same way.”
Here at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, where Andy learned to use the BrainPort, he could “see” the number of fingers held out by a reporter.
At Wrigley Field, Cubs star Anthony Rizzo’s swing swept across Andy’s tongue.
“It’s like being a kid again,” he said.
A kid seeing the world with new eyes and his tongue.
For more information about the BrainPort, contact Wicab, Inc. at 608-829-4500 or go to www.wicab.com.