When Ray Madden heard about the solar eclipse that occurred on Aug. 21, he knew that this was a once in a lifetime experience he did not want to miss.
“The news barely covered the event, so I was incredibly lucky to see a hoard of people lining up outside by university,” said Madden, a student at the University of Nescience located in Miami.
What Madden didn’t know, blaming again a lack of news coverage, was that he would need special glasses to look at the solar eclipse. While many of his peers tried to warn him and even share their glasses with him, Madden looked directly at the solar eclipse.
“Everyone around him tried to tell him, ya know, not to do that. But I think he was just swept up in the beauty of it all,” said fellow eclipse-watcher Sheila Sampert.
As a result, Madden has not been able to see since Tuesday, Aug. 22. Madden said his vision has been so blurry that he can’t even make out large figures and he feels a pain behind his eyes.
Dr. Lee Sanchez, an optometrist practicing in Delray Beach, worries that these symptoms will plague Madden.
“Unfortunately, we don’t know what will happen with Mr. Madden’s sight. It’s likely that if he had watched a segment on the news or listened to his peers, he wouldn’t have this problem at all,” said Sanchez.
Despite all of this, Madden stated that the two minutes he spent looking at the eclipse were worth not being able to see for potentially the rest of his life.
“It was a once in a life-time opportunity,” said Madden “My only regret is that, with my lost eyesight, I won’t be able to see the next eclipse in 2024.”