Cassidy’s Story – a Sharing Vision Grant Program Recipient

Cassidy is one of the first recipients of the Sharing Vision Grant program, a program designed to provide the new hybrid contact lenses ClearKone® to patients who may otherwise not have access to this new contact lens technology.  Her story is below.


In year 2004, I was a recent high school graduate that was preparing to enter college during the fall. At the time I was wearing prescription glasses, my vision was fine and that was how I saw for most of my life. My vision was never particularly bad, but around the time I was introduced to the idea of PRK laser eye surgery. It was recommended to me and I welcomed it as a new change from glasses and a chance to improve my vision. I felt that it would help change my life for the better.

Four years had passed since then, I had graduated from college at the top of my class and my vision had sufficed well enough for me to do exceptional in school. It was however, during my senior in college that I noticed that my vision had changed. It was nothing drastic mind you, but it was a bit noticeable. All in all, I decided that it wasn’t too bad and so I paid it no mind. I was able to read, write, drive and function well enough. While I was at home from college, I had intended to study and prepare myself for medical school. But during the year that I had returned home, I noticed that my vision had taken a turn for the worse.

It started with just being unable to read from a distance to being unable to read up close. I had gone with soft lenses for a course of about five months. But they too had failed on me to the point where only my right eye was able to retain vision. I was shipped to various optometrists over the past year and each one was unable to fit me with a prescription. It was very upsetting to notice my vision beginning to deteriorate worse over a span of two months. I am unable to drive now. Everywhere I go I see afterimages and halos cast off of lights. But the worst feeling imaginable is being unable to distinguish my family’s faces and to see their expressions. I began to worry and think to myself, “How will I be able to focus in school if I am unable to see?” I have been told I have a prescription of 20/500 and I have all but given up hope of being able to see out of my left eye.

My mother had begun to worry whether or not if I would possibly go blind. She had set up and appointment with Dr. Gupta at UTMB. I was so surprised and amazed how she was able to fit me with a prescription! When I tried them on, I thought they would be like any other hard lenses that I had tried. It was the exact opposite! They were very comfortable and it was the first time I was able to see clearly in eight months and to see my father’s face. She had told me about the SynergEyes Sharing Vision Grant Program for ClearKone contact lenses. It was the most excitement I felt in a long time. I kept thinking that with these contact lenses I can continue to pursue my dreams of becoming a physician and giving back to the community. ClearKone lenses allow for a new change and impact my life for the better in ways I can not begin to imagine.