TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Doug Shelton lost his sight in 2010.
It was caused by sleep apnea and a lack of oxygen to his optic nerve.
“If I hold something close, I can see a little bit,” said Shelton.
He had to quit driving and eventually leave his job after losing his sight.
“When I lost my sight I thought pretty much it was the end of my going or doing or anything but it has not stopped me,” said Shelton. “Especially with my good friends that see to it that it doesn’t stop me.”
Losing his sight did not mean he lost his ability to dance.
“I love country western dancing, I’ve danced since I was a teenager and I just love it,” said Shelton. “I started going back dancing and decided I could still dance even though I was legally blind. I’ve got a lot of friends that take me out there and pick me up.”
Those friends gathered around him last Saturday for a special surprise.
“All these people started one at a time coming up and hugging me, ‘oh glad to see you!’ and all this,” said Shelton. “Then come to find out they were there to see me to get these glasses and I had no clue.”
His friends had raised enough money to buy Doug a pair of glasses that allow him to see.
“The camera magnifies the screen inside so you get the object you’re looking at right up close, in color, where you can see it,” said Shelton.
He got to see his favorite team play for the first time in nine years.
“I got to watch the Dallas Cowboys for the first time Sunday evening with the glasses and it was really neat,” said Shelton. “And they won too so that was even neater.”
He said he’s grateful for the people who made it possible.
“It is just totally awesome, there’s really not words you can say,” said Shelton. “The majority of them are people that I really have never seen until I got my glasses.”
Cindy Hatfield helped arranged the surprise for Doug.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Doug without a smile,” said Hatfield. “To go through what you’ve been through and see somebody smile like he does it makes you think about yourself and smile and not pity yourself about the things you have going on.”
Shelton’s friends said they hope these glasses give him more freedom and independence.
“He used to be real good at the automotive field and parts and he was a manager and now he doesn’t have anything,” said Brad Justice, Doug’s best friend. “So, he could actually get a job and go back and start doing that again.”
In the meantime, Justice said they’re still trying to raise more funds to help get him the less obtrusive glasses, so he can easier communicate with the public if he does get a job.