A blind woman has been given the gift of sight after a "miracle" surgical procedure on her spine left her able to see for the first time in 21 years, it was reported on Saturday, 7 May. Doctors have been unable to explain the cause of her sight re-emerging after the unrelated surgical procedure.
Mary Ann Franco, 70, from Florida, US, had been admitted to hospital for emergency treatment on her back, following an accident at home. She has been told she would never see again after being badly injured in a car accident in 1995.
Franco's recent accident left her requiring a spinal operation to alleviate severe pain in her arms and back. According to the Telegraph, Franco discovered she could see after waking from anaesthesia. When she woke, she said, "Lady, you with all that purple on you, come over, give me something for the pain."
Franco's niece noticed that her aunt had seen what colour the woman was wearing. Franco also claimed that she had suffered from colour blindness before the accident occurred.
"You're in blue and brown, and your tie is kind of brownish," she said, pointing to her doctor, before adding, "Yeah, you're so handsome."
She then looked at a picture of her daughter before exclaiming: "This is my daughter? Oh my God! Isn't she beautiful."
Doctors have been left questioning what caused the reversal in Franco's blindness but, according to further reports, neurosurgeon John Ashfar said her loss of sight could have been caused by the car accident kinking an artery: "I have never seen it, never heard of it" he commented.
"When we performed the surgery itself, we unknowingly probably unkinked that vessel re-establishing blood flow and, therefore, she could have regained her vision," he said. "When we give that extra amount of blood flow by unkinking the vessel, it could have re-established the blood flow, but this is all theoretical."
Meanwhile, Franco revealed what life looked like, following the operation that helped her regain her sight. "In the mornings, I get up, and I look out here and the sun is coming through the trees, and the beams [are] coming down. Oh, God, it's so wonderful to see."