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12 Who Care 2007: Harry 'Tom' Heery

12:30 PM, Sep 12, 2007   |    comments
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By Ken Amaro

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Some people have sight, but no vision. Other people have no sight, but great vision. Harry "Tom" Heery is visually impaired but has the vision and passion to be an inspiration to others.

Heery lost his sight three years ago and refused to let it hold him back.

I like to tell people, i'm just a blind person, putting one foot in front of the other to keep on going," said Heery.

He is modest about his role in helping the visually impaired, but has become a voice of reason.

Mildred Session says when she was losing her sight, Heery was there. He became her voice of reassurance and her counselor.

Tom Heery is married with two children, he says that is where he found his strength. For ten years the retired warehouse manager fought hard to save his sight. He said he got his vision back four times before he totally lost it to diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

After rehab classes Heery began volunteering.
He volunteers with a support group, he plays santa claus, he founded a talking book club and takes part in the annual vision walk. He has even found time to learn the guitar.

Heery says he wants to be able to play 'Amazing Grace.' As the writer John Newton said, "I once was lost, but now i'm found, was blind, but now I see."

He says he would like people to know that blindness is not the end of the world. That is why Harry "Tom" Heery is one of our 12 Who Care.

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