A 'True Miracle': Woman Regains Sight After 21 Years of Blindness

Mary Ann Franco was legally blind after surviving a car accident in 1995.

ByABC News
May 3, 2016, 10:09 AM

— -- For more than two decades, Mary Ann Franco of Okeechobee, Florida, was legally blind after surviving a car accident in 1995.

It took another accident more than 20 years later to cause what she calls an act of God. After falling down in her home, she received surgery on her spine to alleviate pain in her neck and arm and, when she awoke, a “miracle.”

“I said, ‘Lady, you with all that purple on you, come over, give me something for pain,’” Franco told South Florida ABC affiliate WPBF-TV. “Any my niece says, ‘What did you say, Mary?’”

Suddenly, after waking up from her April 6 procedure, Franco could see.

Martin Health System neurosurgeon John Afshar, who conducted the surgery, says he had never seen anything like it.

“The restoration of Mary Ann Franco's vision is a true miracle,” he told ABC News. “I really don't have a scientific explanation for it."

But he has a theory.

“Mrs. Franco’s vision was impaired from her accident 20 years ago and it could have been a result of the artery being kinked, and then when we performed the surgery itself, we unknowingly probably unkinked that vessel reestablishing blood flow and, therefore, she could have regained her vision,” he explained.

Not only did Franco regain her sight, she also says she was colorblind before her accident and now she can see in color, too.

“You’re in blue and brown, and your tie is kind of brownish,” she said, pointing to her doctor, jokingly adding, “Yeah, you’re so handsome.”

Franco’s daughter recently flew in from Michigan to see her mother and, apparently, Franco couldn’t stop talking about her daughter’s appearance. She is looking forward to truly seeing the rest of her family this summer.