Man says meditation, diet helped bring vision back years after going blind

MURRAY HILL, Manhattan — Some are calling it a Thanksgiving miracle.

Kevin Coughlin, 55, lost his sight almost 20 years ago because he had a rare genetic condition called Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.

But over the past few years, his eyesight has been slowly and miraculously coming back to him and a world that he used to describe as a milky white fog is coming into sharper focus.

"It is miraculous," Coughlin told PIX11. "I see faces and I see lights and shapes."

Coughlin credits prayer, meditation and a diet rich with antioxidants, such as spinach, broccoli and red kidney beans as the reason for his eyesight's gradual return.

Coughlin no longer needs the services of his trusty seeing eye dog, Elias. Now they just go on fun walks together in their Murray Hill neighborhood.

That's how they met bestselling author Traci Medford-Rosow, who now is writing "Unblinded, Kevin's Courageous Battle to Regain his Vision."

"The thing about Kevin," Medford-Rosow told PIX11, "nobody, as far as I know, who has had Leber's has ever regained their central vision."

I first met Coughlin, an advocate for blind people, 14 years ago when I reported on his difficulties bringing his guide dog into restaurants and taxis.

And now, Coughlin says as we approach Thanksgiving, he is just so grateful to everyone who helped him on his journey from blindness to sight.

"I was someone who always took everything for granted," Coughlin told PIX11. "Now I have so much gratitude and joy."