Monday night, I was introduced to the story of an amazing teenager named Garrett (thanks Aunt Sherry!).
On January 6 of 2002, Garrett survived a dog attack that robbed him of his sight. He was left with severe facial scarring, no eyelids, no eye muscle, no tissue surrounding his eyes, and no tear glands in either eye. The hospital had never seen anything like Garrett's case before, and ended up treating him like a burn patient. After a total of 15 surgeries, months of therapy, 5 hospitals, 10 days in ICU, and a nasty infection, Garrett is still fighting. His last operation, which was in 2006, successfully opened his right eye, and his doctors said it was up to his brain to make the connections for him to see again, and there was a chance it may not happen. So far, it hasn't happened and Garrett can only see lights and shadows. His left eye, however, is unrepairable because of the skin and blood vessels from his earlier skin grafts are growing into his eye. Eventually Garrett will need more surgeries once he is fully grown.
Despite his challenges, Garrett is thriving! After a tough and trying year in The School for the Blind, which is almost 8 hours away from home, he returned home to attended public school. He's in the National Beta Club at Hayesville High School, where he is currently mastering the 10th grade. He loves computers and when he finishes school, he wants to create computer games for the blind. This summer he is hoping to be able to get a new Macbook Pro, a new digital recorder to help him sleep (his current one is on it's last leg and going through AAA batteries so fast!), but most of all he's wishing for a guide dog.
Recently Garrett, along with the rest of the world, read an article about a little girl who just wanted cards for Christmas (read her story here). And he asked his mom why he never gets any mail, and she got an idea. Garrett's 16th birthday is coming up on February 29th, wouldn't it be awesome for Garrett to get tons of birthday cards?
If you want to send Garrett a birthday card, you can do so to this address:
61 West Vineyard Rd
Hayesville, NC 28904
Garrett's mom has contacted their local post office and has asked that people start sending cards early. She is going to collect them and wait until the week of his birthday and put groups of cards in their mailbox for Garrett to find each day.
You don't need a reason to help people. You don't need a reason to give. But helping and giving brings joy to both the giver and the receiver.