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October 05, 2021

Woman Blind from Birth Reveals What Surprised Her the Most When She Was Able to See for the First Time

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A woman who spent a large part of her life being blind shared shocking revelations after she gained her sight. Olivia Durant was born legally blind and got her eyesight back in 2016, thanks to The Eye Center of New York. 

Originally from Pittsburgh, Durant now resides in Los Angeles and is known for making the impossible possible way before 2003. She is an LA-based elite-class innovator and athlete, and her personal drive and focus are truly unmatched. 

Durant has had a lot on her plate ever since she was a kid. When she was 5 years old, the doctor told her about her blindness. She was then prescribed to wear 2-inch thick spectacles, which enabled her to make vague guesses about her surroundings.

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Her school days were full of trouble because of all the kids who saw her as easy prey and never missed a chance to bully her. Sadly, some of her teachers thought she was absurd and hardly took her seriously. Recalling her experiences, she also shared: 

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"Blindness is a spectrum. Every blind person is not the same. I was so nearsighted I could not identify people, walk outside by myself, or watch TV."

She was always scared of wandering off alone whenever she went outside. One time, she was in a department store with her grandmother. She ran off to the toy section and then came back to a complete stranger who she had mistaken for her granny. 

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When she turned 9, she was given special contact lenses, which gave her slight peripheral vision. She spent her childhood hiding from the world, lost in her imagination. Things finally turned around for her when she reached her 30s. She further explained:

"When I reached age 34, a new eye doctor mentioned an operation that could possibly improve my vision. I might lose what little eyesight I had. I knew I had to take that risk and have the surgery."

While there were no guarantees whether or not the surgery would actually work, Durant was fortunate enough to get her eyesight back following the risky procedure. Nobody had ever seen her as an ambitious person, but she was determined to prove them wrong. 

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When she first saw her face in the mirror, she said hello to the stranger she had never seen. Slowly, she began to recognize who she was, which enabled her to gain confidence and become a strong, brave, and courageous woman. She also commented: 

"I didn’t just gain my eyesight – I now had a second chance to live. And I promised the scared little girl that I was that I would make the most of it."

Durant, who is also a public speaker, documents her experiences and inspires other people through her social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. She's often seen replying to people's questions on TikTok and sharing videos of the answers. 

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One of the users asked her a question: "What was the thing that shocked you the most when you first saw it?" Durant's response was that she was shocked to see what she looked like because she thought she was a completely different person. She also said: 

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"I had a complete identity crisis because it’s a little weird when you can’t recognize yourself… it’s kind of a little disturbing. Everything you knew about yourself is wrong (sic)."

Another user asked: "What are things that surprised you [about] the way they looked? How did you perceive them before?" She replied: "The size and scope of things. Things where there's a lot of information, like a concert, bar, or a busy restaurant." 

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Durant's story teaches us that we're all different, but understanding each other and being empathetic can help us resonate with one another. Many netizens are inspired by her incredible story, and some even left their comments on her TikTok. 

One person added: "It's amazing hearing about your perspective to life and what's shifted now." Another one left an emotional comment: "I'm tearing up thinking about the first time you gained your vision! Did you cry? Was it beautiful? That's actually a miracle." 

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