Blind man with nothing to his name gets sight back

SAN ANTONIO – A homeless blind man was able to get his life back after he received help and got his sight back.

William Stancik loves playing chess and playing with reptiles, but he's been having some trouble doing that ever since he went blind. 

"It's like as if you were walking in the densest fog you've ever walked in,” Stancik said.

Stancik made one of the most important journeys of his life — out of darkness — and he allowed KSAT 12 to follow him.

"I hope to remember how nice independence is," Stancik said.

Related: Reporter Debrief: Journey out of darkness

The courtyard at Haven for Hope is a crowded and sometimes confusing place, especially when you're blind, but Stancik isn’t worried. He’s close to getting his sight back and nothing will stop him.

"We will dance a jig if that's what you want?" Jason Gerstner, a counselor with Haven for Hope, told Stancik before surgery.

Gerstner has been by Stancik’s side throughout the journey. Stancik has literally been leaning on Gerstner for help.

Gerstner drover Stancik to his surgery.

KSAT photojournalist Luis Cienfuegos was in the operating room as the first cataract was removed.

In one day, the results of the surgery were in.

"It has been a wait already, so 24 hours is nothing," Stancik said.

Stancik was given an eye patch to wear until the doctor could check on his eye.

"I see very well,” Stancik said after his eye patch was removed.

He had never been so happy to see a camera, an examining room and his friend, Gerstner.

"This is Jason, no introduction needed," Stancik said.

The two men shook hands.

"Praise God and praise Jesus, and thanks all you guys, Jason, doctor, Haven for Hope,” Stancik said.

When asked if it’s hard to put into words how he’s feeling, he responded: “If I start, I might not stop.”

"He's already seeing 20/40 after just taking his patch off, so he can do even better," said Dr. Robert Rice, with I Care of San Antonio.

"It's just one of those things that makes you keep doing what you do," Gerstner said.

A final hug for Dr. Rice, and Stancik is off to enjoy a new part of his life.

"It's been quite a while since I could cross the street by myself,” Stancik said.

Since the surgery, Stancik has found a job and has moved from the Haven for Hope Campus. He got another chance thanks to Haven for Hope, the community and the volunteers at I Care of San Antonio.

For more information on I Care of San Antonio, which helps low-income and homeless individuals, visit http://www.icare-sa.org/.


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