It’s a little-known fact that the day I first learned of a man named Charles “Cleo” Gorman was when I was in middle school, watching a show on ABC called the Cleo & Larry Show.
Cleo, as his family and I would later learn, had lost his left eye.
He was only 15.
Cleopatra had died.
His wife had died in childbirth.
Cleos dad, John, was in the hospital recovering from a car accident and was being treated for a serious infection.
He had been in and out of the hospital for several months.
His son, Mike, had been adopted, and Cleo had no idea that he would end up with the rare condition of congenital retinal detachment (CRS).
The sight of his eye slowly starting to fade, Cleo was left with a broken nose and a very long, painful gap between the eye and the upper lip.
The next time I saw him, he was in his hospital room with his eye in a cast.
He said he had to wait a year to get it back, and he was diagnosed with the condition on March 10, 1962.
He spent four months in the intensive care unit of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he underwent three surgeries to fix his eye socket and reconstruct his vision.
It was an incredibly challenging time for Cleo and the rest of his family.
They were forced to live in an apartment with a walk-in closet, and they were required to use a walking cane for most of their activities.
The sight was hard to miss.
Cleofs father was a physical therapist who had worked in the emergency room and in a rehabilitation facility for people with congenital blindness.
He took over the family after the death of his wife and three other children.
“He was a kind, caring man,” John Gorman told me.
“I think his only real problem was being a child.
He didn’t understand what he was missing, so he took up some of the tasks of caring for me and taking care of us.”
Cleo’s eye was so badly damaged that the surgeons had to leave it in a hospital overnight to make sure it would heal.
When he finally had his sight restored, Cleoparies dad had the surgery again and was finally able to see Cleo as he did when he was younger.
“It’s a miracle that we had that,” Cleo told me, referring to his first sight.
“You can’t have two eyes in one.
I mean, my eye was a little damaged and it was not as sharp as my other eye, so it was very difficult to see.”
It was the first time in his life he had seen his own reflection.
Cleops eyesight is still so good, he says he is able to navigate the city safely, with the help of a walker.
And, though he has no immediate plans to return to school, he still wants to learn.
He has always been fascinated by the history of the United States and its people, and this year, Cleos eyesight was further tested with a class he teaches at the University of Illinois.
When I first heard about Cleopares journey from a family friend, I immediately thought, I am not a fan of this person.
The professor told me that Cleopas vision is very good, but that he also suffers from a condition called congenital syringomyelia.
He told me he has to wear a cane at all times to work because it makes it difficult for him to walk.
“If I were to go to a movie and he’s there, I would have to be very careful because if he’s not using a cane, he could easily be blinded,” the professor told my reporter.
Cleol was lucky.
His sight is still the same and he has continued to walk with his cane and even rides his bike on occasion.
He tells me that he plans to continue teaching at the university.
“As long as I’m alive, I want to be able to teach,” he said.
Cleoparies life was a very ordinary one, until the day that he was told his wife had cancer.
When her condition deteriorated, he had an epiphany.
Cleomancyelia is a rare condition in which a person’s vision is severely compromised, and the body cannot keep up with sight loss, but also can’t heal it.
It causes the eyes to appear black or dull and the person has a condition known as congenital cataracts, which is a form of blindness that can be life-threatening.
As a child, Cleomancies father had always been very careful about what he ate and what he drank.
“At that time, I was very strict about my diet,” Cleomancers father told me recently.
“And when I found out my wife had been diagnosed with cancer, I had a hard time eating,” he