The 44-year-old Alberta man was born with nystagmus
After a successful experimental trial surgery in California, he was able to earn his driver’s license
He purchased a C7 Chevy Corvette to go along with it
A man in Alberta, Canada who has been legally blind his entire life has been able to earn his driver’s license thanks to a corrective surgery performed in California.
44-year-old Mike Schickerowski was born with nystagmus, a condition that creates involuntary rapid eye movement of the eyes which makes everything blurry. The brain cannot interpret what the eyes see, in much the same way a picture comes out blurry if we move our phone or camera.
“It had been thought for many years that there was no treatment for nystagmus because it would require brain surgery”, Mike told us by email.
In October 2018, however, Schickerowski signed up for an experimental trial at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute in Irvine, California.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Lingua who “identified a way to remove the offending eye muscles to quiet the movement without adversely affecting daily vision, effectively tricking or circumventing the brain”, Mike says.
The procedure called MWR (Myectomy Without Reattachment) was successful in essentially “quieting” Mike’s eye muscles, allowing him to see and opening the doors to a whole new life for him and his family.
This included getting a driver’s license, something that would have been impossible before the surgery. After practicing on his learner’s permit with his wife’s GMC Yukon in 2019, Mike decided to treat himself to a car of his own, a yellow C7 Chevy Corvette which was outfitted with lambo doors.
“I bought it because I loved the look, but quickly realized how amazing the steering, breaking and suspension were”, Mike said.
“I realized then that she was so much more than just good looks”.
How’s that for a feel good story?