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Clarice Wilkison, 26

Social media handles:

IG: clarice_angela_95

Facebook- Clarice Angela Wilkison

Clarice in the car taking a selfie wearing her glasses

Where are you from and where do you live now?

Pembroke Pines, Florida

Tell us a little about yourself:

I have two degrees in Early Childhood Education. I became a preschool teacher because I have a deep love and passion for children, they mean absolutely everything to me.

What is your eye story?

In July 2015, I had my first retina detachment surgery. From that point on I noticed that my vision was off, like seeing an extra step in a staircase.

I even started taking the elevator during college

because of it. Despite this aspect, I thought

the overall surgery was a success until October when I found out my retina had detached again. I remember thinking this was strange but didn’t think too much of it because I trusted my eye doctor. I had a second retina detachment surgery in December that changed my life forever. After surgery, I noticed I had a huge headache, which ended up actually being due to eye pressure. The pressure intensified so much that I almost lost all vision in my left eye.

In June 2016, I met my amazing eye doctor, Dr. Timothy Murray, who spent the next years trying everything he could to stabilize my left eye. In August 2020, I woke up with a headache that was again due to eye pressure. At this point, I was tired of trying to stabilize my eye continuously and asked my dr. about removing it. I had my enucleation in September 2020 and received my prosthetic in November. It was hard to look at myself for a while, but my boyfriend, his family and I loved me through it. They saw me for who I was and it didn’t matter to them. For the last five months, I’ve been working as a preschool teacher and I love it.

What has been the most challenging mentally?

The thing that has been most challenging mentally has been the emotional toll it has taken on me. I was so angry and confused as to why it was happening to me and at the same time sad and grieving.

What has been the most challenging physically?

The challenges physically have been in regard to my depth perception, which has kept me from driving. Additionally, at work, I’m not allowed to change diapers and it’s required I have someone with me to act as an extra set of eyes while I’m teaching.

What advice would you give someone going through their eye impairment journey?

Never give up because it definitely gets better.

My eye surgeon is Dr. Timothy Murray, and my ocularist is dr. Peter Gutierrez.

They are both fantastic people who I feel have been sent to me by God.

I found EYEHESIVE on a Facebook page called Lost Eye.

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