Legally blind Tennessee mom sees family, friends for the first time


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) - Christi Harpe has it all; three beautiful children, a great husband, a degree in fashion design from MTSU, and a big loving family.

All despite the fact she has been legally blind since birth.

“She has never used it as an excuse,” said Christi’s dad Randall Durham. "She has been an inspiration not only to the family but to mom and dad. She would do anything she wanted to do and tackle it."

Christi learned to recognize people by their silhouette. She knows the outlines of the people she loves, but of course, she has always hoped for more.

She has had surgeries, telescopes and magnifying glasses, but nothing quite like these $10,000 eSight glasses. The eyewear corporation based in Canada claims to have had some great results with legally blind people.

“I am trying to not be too excited and try not to be too negative,” Christi Harpe said. "My mind can't go there."

What Christi wants most of all is much less grand and much more precious than seeing the ocean, the woods or waterfalls.

“Honestly, being able to sit right here away from my kids and see my kids and see their happiness on their faces,” Harpe said.

Randall Durham invited the entire family as well as friends and teacher’s that played a big part in Christi’s life. The idea was to share and support this moment with more than 50 people there for her.

“We're looking forward to it, what it does," Durham said. "We have faith, and we are believing that her eyes are going to be opened up and she is going to see a totally new world. That's what we are wanting, and that’s what we have been praying about for 35 years."

So it was time; excitement, dread, fear and hope.

When Christi put on the glasses she couldn’t see much. The glasses are very technical and take weeks to learn.

Within a few minutes she saw things she had never seen before. She could identify some relatives at 15 yards away. She could also read letters from a chart she had never read before.

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