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Keeping Focused: Filmmaker Losing Eyesight Discounts Craft to Raise Money for Surgery

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – “Making videos is a lot harder now,” Carl Wright tells ABC21 News.

The Homestead High School graduate works as a freelance filmmaker, producing videos with only half of his vision.

It’s only a matter of time before he won’t be able to see at all.

“I don’t really tell people that I have an eye disease that’s threatening my career,” he says.

Wright suffers from advanced Keratoconus.

Dr. Rex Parent, of The Eye Center of Fort Wayne, explains the condition to us, which impacts the eye’s cornea shape.

“Instead of being like half a bowling ball or half of a basketball – it’s like half of a football,” Parent says, “The top cone gets thinner and thinner and thinner. And if you bump your eye this top is thin and it can break open.”

That’s exactly how Wright lost vision in his right eye.

“I had wiped my eye, and that was enough to tear my cornea,” Wright says.

Doctors estimate he’ll lose all sight by 2021.

Now, Wright is desperately working to earn enough money to pay for part of the $12,000 transplant to fix his right eye.

That doesn’t include the Corneal crosslinking procedure he’ll eventually need to fix his sight in his left eye.

To raise funds, Wright started discounted his work to raise as much money as quickly as possible.

“I really wanted to do it all myself, and that’s when I though I could offer my services at a discounted price.”

He also started a GoFundMe page which has already helped him reach his goal after this story aired.

Much of the help he’s seen, has come from the local creative community.

Wright’s friends help him shoot videos, while he directs, helping ease the strain on his eyes.

They also helped spread the word to help him earn donations.

The disease does run in Wright’s family.

His two sisters also suffer from Keratoconus, his younger sister will require surgery later in life.

Dr. Parent says with proper treatment and “stabilization” of Wright’s eye, he will likely live a normal life, and be able to continue pursuing his passion in filmmaking.

Daniel Beals

Daniel Beals is an award-winning journalist and photographer who started his career at ABC21. He shot and edited the Digging Deeper series “Dying on the Job” which won a National Edward R. Murrow award in 2019. The newscasts he produces have also been recognized regionally with Emmy and state awards. Daniel is a Michigan native and graduated from Grand Valley State University. He is always on the look-out for another story to tell. Contact him at dbeals@wpta21.com for suggestions.

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