Call it “Opportunity by Ocutech”
It’s Thanksgiving 2017, and I’m sitting here at work thinking over the last 20 odd years. Yes, I can’t believe it either, but it was actually autumn of 1996 when I received my first bioptic device from Ocutech. I was married, had a son, and living mostly in the cash economy of a disability check, when my back gave out. The doctor said no physical labor for a year or more, potential employers were still laughing at all attempts to find a job.
I’ve always said that the good Lord looks out for the fools and the ignorant and since I’m chief in both categories, He does look out for me. I called Voc-Rehab of North Carolina, with the thought of going back to school to get an engineering degree. I met with Georgena Clayten and I’ll never forget the smile, and her statement, “I think we can do this”.
I had no idea how difficult it would be, there was no money, my son was a teenager, and it’d been almost 20 years since I’d opened a Math book. My first day in class convinced me that my old tactic of writing what the teacher said as fast as he said it, was not going to work. You see, I never had seen what was written on the blackboard. Today’s math teachers are notorious for moving ‘this’ to ‘here’, from ‘there’ and doing ‘that’ again. I had to figure out how to see what he was writing, there was no alternative.
That night I talked with my brother, who has the same vision issues that I do, pretty convinced that I wasn’t going to make it. He knew Dr. Greene, and he was using an Ocutech device every day to help him see to drive a moped back and forth to work in Raleigh, NC.
Time flies, I graduated six years later, with an honors degree in mechanical engineering. I think I’ve tried most, if not all, of the tools Ocutech offers. The auto focus got me through school. The manual focus allowed me to work, as a civilian for the Navy. Ocutech even had a ‘two-eyed” solution ready when the Navy said I’d have to have depth perception, at distance to handle high explosives.
I learned to drive automobiles with this device. Little did I know what ‘driving’ could bring. I’ve held a few jobs since then, Engineering Manager for a huge corporation, among others. Chief Operating Officer of a small start-up, and now, as the hair is turning gray, (what hasn’t fallen out), I’ve slowed down a little and work as a Projects engineer for the world’s largest producer of natural preservatives for our food.
I should probably mention that I still depend on Ocutech every day. I have several ‘Sight-Scopes’ which are now my tools of choice. I’ve driven well over a million miles since I got that first license. I live in Nebraska where nothing is next door, it’s 20 miles to the nearest grocery. My grandkids are in North Carolina, and I still drive across the country to see Dr. Greene every other year to keep my license in this state. I almost titled this article “From a Disability Check to a Six Figure Income” but that would not give credit where credit is due. So, how about “Opportunity by Ocutech”.
I am thankful.