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This is part of a series that looks at extraordinary experiences in personal health. Share yours at health@globeandmail.com.

The other night when there was a meteor shower, we got out a blanket and some popcorn and lay down in the park across the street and stared at the stars. My kids began yelling when they started seeing the meteors and I got to see the streaks across the sky. It was amazing.

The littlest things people take for granted, I can do now.

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I have keratoconus, a thinning and bulging of the cornea. I was diagnosed when I was in Grade 11. I had glasses then, but I was constantly having to switch prescriptions and we didn't know why. My eye doctor ended up doing some more tests and found out I actually had keratoconus. My vision got worse and worse to the point where glasses didn't help, so I had to wear specially-fitted contacts. But eventually, the contacts didn't help either.

My vision at its very worst was, I believe, 20-200 (which means being able to see at 20 feet what an unimpaired person can see at 200 feet). I knew people by their voices over anything else. For the most part, if I went anywhere with my mother or girlfriend, I always had my hand on them.

About a year before my son was born, I found out my vision was so bad that I had to go on a donor list to wait for a cornea transplant. You're only allowed to do one eye at a time, so they ended up doing a transplant on my left eye first because that eye was the worst. I was very, very pushy with my eye doctor to have the surgery done before my son was born. I was ecstatic when it was done, but I wasn't able to hold my son because, for a few months, I wasn't able to lift anything over 10 pounds. I had stitches in that eye for a year and after they took them out, they did all this fine-tuning with micro-cuts to adjust for the warping from all the stitches My second surgery was in June two years ago. The day after my second surgery, I went to the bathroom and was washing my hands. I was able to see slightly out of the corner of the bandage over my eye and I could see myself. It was overwhelming. I could actually see out of both eyes. It was something I hadn't done in a very long time. My vision still wasn't great. A normal person would be like, "Oh, that's still blurry." But for me it was, "Oh my God, I can see this much already!"

Then, two months ago, I got a pair of glasses so I can finally see perfectly. I went to Costco to pick them up and as soon as I put them on – I don't care, I'm a big guy – I almost broke down in tears instantly. Even though the first time I could see clearly was staring out at a whole bunch of TVs at Costco, the clarity was amazing. On the drive home, I just stared out the window. I remember the first time I got glasses when I was in Grade 7 and being like, "Whoa, I can see again." It was like that. Just looking out the window and seeing everything. Seeing the clouds. Seeing birds in the sky.

It was as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can see the smiles on my kids' faces. My confidence has gone through the roof. I can do things I couldn't do before. I have depth perception. I can read things from far away. I've picked up tons of novels because I can read again. It's a silly thing but I can watch 3-D movies now, and my kids love 3-D movies.

I like it now when my kids are like, "Hey Dad, look! An airplane!" I'm like, "I can see it too!"

Justin Ross, 30, lives in Brantford, Ont.

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Read more stories in this series here.

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