NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — His doctors can’t explain it, but a Manhattan man who went blind in 1997 has now regained most of his sight.

Kevin Coughlin, of Murray Hill, was blinded by optic nerve disease at age 36.

“I literally saw a very thick, impenetrable fog,” Coughlin, who is now 55, told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.

Coughlin remained blind until he started seeing shadows three years ago.

“In August of 2013 I saw a reflection of light on my medicine cabinet mirror after not seeing anything for 16 years,” Couhglin said.

Last May was the first time Coughlin saw the face of his then-guide dog, a black lab named Elias.

“I’m seeing more and more, and Elias hasn’t had his harness on for a year and a half,” Coughlin said.

Now, Coughlin confidently walks Elias through the city streets.

“When I walked when I was blind I had this very tentative very self conscious gait, and now I have an expansive swagger,” Coughlin said. “Just seeing all the buildings that have been put up in the last 20 years, seeing the restoration of Grand Central Station is incredible.”

Coughlin has now regained 70 percent of his vision, and he claims his eyesight continues to improve.

And while his vision brings him great joy, Coughlin said losing his sight opened his eyes to the suffering of others.

Comments (18)
  1. Paul Jenkins says:

    “Doctors Baffled”:…..why are doctors always baffled? do they have to specialize in bafflement in med school?

    1. Doctor, surely you can tell me why I can see again.

      No I can’t, and stop calling me shirley!

  2. God bless both he and his dog. What an awesome blessing after all those years.

  3. the unbeleiever says why did God take his sight? well maybe ,well maybe God never took his sight, but restored it

    1. Yes. Your way of thinking…. spot on!

  4. James Lappin says:

    With a dog named Elias, it’s no wonder a miracle happened.

  5. Ok, great. So ….give back the guide dog!

  6. would be interesting to know how he lost his sight in the first place . i went completely
    blind in my right eye in 2005 after a spell of optic neuritis .. maybe there is still some hope .. it is a different world with absolutely no depth perception .. amazing story of this fella

    1. Bob Parker says:

      From the article: “Kevin Coughlin, of Murray Hill, was blinded by optic nerve disease at age 36.”

    2. Uncle Bob, why don’t you try to contact this person and/or his doctors to see what has been done from the point this man got sick until he started regaining his vision? Maybe he, i.e., got a treatment years ago, has been taking a certain vitamin, etc that you have not tried that may help you regain your sight? Whatever this guy has done that you have not done may be the thing that will allow you to regenerate your sight.

  7. More than likely the cause is from diet change because he is getting older.

  8. Joe Brown says:

    What a beautiful story and miracle! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us! I hope Mr. Coughlin’s visual sight continues to improve. It sounds like his insight into life has improved dramatically during his 20 years of blindness.

  9. It’s a shame we have so little to offer him.

  10. Jack Davis says:

    Did he stop ‘baitin ??

    1. Milla Kramer says:

      As with any cure, you must weigh the side effects.

    2. Clegg Jensen says:

      As you can see in the video, the palms of his hands are hairless.

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