Healed of Blindness

Shirley Young Potter

This grandmother shares how God gave her 20/20 vision in her left eye after having been legally blind.

I was living on top of the mountain.  I had a great job. Lots of travel, good employees, just returned from a special assignment in Washington DC, and was where I wanted to be on my career path.  

I had to work long hours, even some weekends, but I still believed in God, read my Bible on occasion and said my prayers. 

You know how life is, so many things pull at our time.  I reasoned that any free time I had on the weekends I deserved the rest.  I could always catch up later with God.

Blindness Strikes

On the morning of November 18th, 2004 my life changed forever.   I woke up and could see only a gray mass.  By using side vision I was able to find my phone and call for help.   I went to my optometrist.  He said he saw severe bleeds on both eyes and sent me at once to an eye specialist.  I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration in both eyes.

At that time the only treatment available for bleeds was laser burns, so I began weeks of burns to stop the bleeds.  Each time my doctor thought he had the bleeds stopped I would have seepage the next visit, requiring more burns.  After weeks of burns my doctor had all the bleeds stopped.   I was told to go home, let my eyes heal until my next appointment.

I went to stay with my daughter, since I could not take care of myself. This was the most humbling time of my life.  I had always been a person that took responsibility for my life. 

Sure, I would talk to God about problems, even give it to Him to handle. If I did not get a response from God right away I was bad about jerking it back, thinking God have you thought about this?  How could I have been so arrogant?   This was a battle I could do nothing about. 

As I waited for my eyes to heal I could see only a black circle surrounded by color.  As I looked at the faces of my family I would see the black circle instead of their face. If they were far enough away I would be able to see their hair, but never their facial features. I could not see TV, no matter how large the screen. I could not match my clothes, cook my meals, go as I pleased, or even enjoy looking outside.

No Improvement

Finally the day came for my checkup.  I was excited because the black circle had faded and I was able to see some color.  As my son drove me to my appointment, I was so excited to be able to identify the colors of 18 wheelers.   I just knew my eyes were getting better, “just give them a little more time.”

When I went in to see my doctor, he ran a long series of x-rays and exams.  Looking at the eye chart, I could not even see the big E at the top of the chart.   

Legally Blind

Finally the nurse called my son and I into the doctor’s office.    He told me this was the best my eyes would ever be and made the diagnosis: “legally blind in both eyes.” 

His nurse took us to the top floor where there were different items that would help me handle my handicap–talking clocks, a huge contraption that looked like an overhead projector to greatly magnify things, Braille books, books on tape. The place was filled with aides. 

It was an awful experience, I had no idea how I would adjust.

My faith in God had grown so much during this trial. I went to church regularly with my children, listened to tapes of the Bible, and prayed.  I could not accept the concept that I would be blind the rest of my life. I truly laid all my fears at the foot of the cross.  

There was no taking back this time. I knew only by God’s grace would I be able to endure the challenges I faced.

God Makes a Promise

Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me.   I will never forget where I was, the position of my body and the sound of His voice.  He told me I would see again!   This was in 2005. I clung to that promise, holding it near to my heart. 

I didn’t speak of my experiences often because of people’s reactions.  People, ever those that attended church regularly, would just give me this pitiful smile, nod and walk away. They seemed to think that God was no longer in the miracle business.  But I knew, and I believed in my heart that I would see again.  

God keeps His word.

I had to quit my job, move in with my son but I grew stronger in my faith daily.   The years rolled by, no improvement in my eyes but no more bleeds.  My faith did not falter!   I knew what my Savior had said, I would see again.

In July 2011 I woke and knew right away my left eye was hemorrhaging.  Called my doctor.  I was told my doctor was on vacation but there was a new doctor on staff and he could see me at once. 

After I was examined I was told there had been a new drug approved by the FDA and just released the month before.  My clinic had just received their first shipment.  It was a shot that would be given in the upper part of my eye. It would stop the bleeds and replace the treatment with laser burns.  

I went home that afternoon to decide if I wanted this treatment.   I made the decision to get the shot; what did I have to lose?   I went back the next day, received the treatment, and once again, was sent home to heal. This was 6 years after the Holy Spirit told me I would see again. 

Vision Returns

I did not see right away, but over the next weeks as I healed my vision slowly, very slowly returned.  When I went back for my checkup I was so excited to share this miracle with my doctor.  However, when I told him I could see with my left eye he just shook his head.  

He said that because of the number of burns I had, every bit of my macular was covered in scars, no way could I see. But I knew the truth, I could see.  I told him to put the eye chart up and let me show him.   He gave me that pitiful smile, “Sure Shirley,” and turned on the chart.    I was able to read out of my left eye with a vision of 20/20. 

Doc could not believe it!   “But how,” he mumbled. 

I said, “By God’s Grace.”  

So they sent me back for more x-rays, because this could not be happening. Then my son and I were once again called into the doctors office.  

He had found a tiny spot on my eye that was not covered with scars, a spot so tiny he had not seen it until he went back and looked again. 

Only by God’s Grace.

God took six years to keep his promise to allow me to see again.  He always keeps his promises and they are fulfilled in His time, by His will and in His way.  God is still in the Miracle business.

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