Legally Blind Man Finally Sees His Wife For the First Time at Their Second Wedding
The beauty truly is in the details. Andrew Airey was born with a genetic disorder known as Stargardt Macular Dystrophy, but wasn’t properly diagnosed until he was an adult. As a result, Airey often struggled with his eyesight as a child, but it wasn’t until he was in his mid-20s that he pretty much lost his eyesight entirely.
By then, he was already in a relationship with his now-wife, Kelli, whom he calls a “covenant wife.”
“Kelli knew that I had low vision and it was something that she accepted,” Airey tells The Knot. “I was going to specialists often and it was not until 2006 that I was able to get some real answers about my eye problems… I lost my detail vision, color vision, the ability to focus in on items at several distances. I was upset. Kelli knew that there was no cure and my eyesight would get worse. … She has been right by my side through this whole endeavor.”
When the pair got married in August 2002, Airey remembers he wasn’t able to really see Kelli’s face or any other details from their special day—a fact that still haunts him.
“I have been out of focus for too long,” he says. “When you have an eye disease, it is challenging to function at a high level. I am a tenacious individual and I will try to the best of my ability to overcome any challenge that life brings. I was not able to see my wife’s face… Honestly, the average person has no idea what it is like and lack of awareness is prevalent in our world.”
In 2015, then the couple happened upon eSight Corp, a new technology company giving legally blind individuals the gift of sight, after actively searching for possible solutions. From there, Director of Marketing Jeff Fenton reached out to the couple with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to recreate their wedding. This time, Airey would be able to see it all.