SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento man has been cherishing the little things after a miracle surgery restored his eyesight.
Dazelle Mallory was born with very poor vision but about a decade ago he started to lose his eyesight completely. He was had to learn braille and use a cane.
"I had to get on social security because it was just so bad," Mallory said.
Doctors diagnosed him with extreme cataracts and myopia, or short-sightedness. Only 2 to 4 percent of people have the conditions Mallory has. He was blind by age 35.
"Kind of like on the airplane and you’re going through the clouds, that's how my eyesight was," Mallory told FOX40.
Mallory said every doctor he saw refused to operate, saying the risks weren't worth the gamble. Then he met Dr. Jeffrey Caspar at UC Davis Medical Center.
"He could tell light. He could tell if the room was lit or not lit but that was about the extent of his vision," Caspar said.
He offered to try a high-risk cataract surgery. Mallory said the outcome "shocked me and the doctor too." It was nothing short of a miracle.
"When I walked in the room to talk to him there was a big smile on his face," Caspar recalled.
"To see this stuff happening to me right in front of my eyes, it's like wow, that was exciting," Mallory said.
"Just throughout the whole exam kept pointing out things to me, 'I can see that, I can see that, I can see that.' In fact, it was the first time he had seen me," Caspar said. "It's one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my 20 years of ophthalmology."
Now Mallory can read street signs, take in the beauty of nature, cook for himself and watch TV.
"All this stuff is new to me and it's like I'm enjoying it," he said.
For the very first time, his world is in focus and he's not taking that for granted.
"Pretty much perfect vision just about," Mallory explained. "Not quite perfect vision but it's seeing things I've never seen before."
He finished his last surgery over a year ago. Now he's trying to get his career going because having poor eyesight his whole life held him back from working.
He says the absolute best part of all of this is his independence and his confidence.