By Ben Walley
A man who has been colourblind since birth was able to see the world in colour for the first time after his generous co-worker surprised him with a pair of enchroma glasses.
Keith Balistreri, an IT manager, from Greenfield, Wisconsin, was completely unaware of his condition until he was 18-years-old but was overwhelmed with emotions when he got to see his freshwater fish in colour for the first time.
His friend and work colleague, Mike, gave Keith the glasses along with his wife on November 4 in the basement where he breeds fish, after a group of co-workers all joined together to buy him the gift.
Mike said: “Keith and I have known each other for over ten years.
“The idea of getting Keith the Enchroma glasses started well over a year ago, he and I were working on a project when we started discussing his inability to correctly see colors as many people vibrantly see.
“I wanted to get a number of people to contribute to Enchroma glasses to gift to Keith as a surprise.
“Not one person hesitated to contribute if they were in a position to contribute, Keith’s personality and personal relationships made this part easy.
“The glasses finally arrive, and for three weeks my wife and I attempted to get together with him to deliver them, he had no clue and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise in order to speed the process up.
Enchroma glasses have a special lens which allows people with the condition to see their environment in colour vision.
Mike said: “Keith began to look at his fish in a different way, studying them even more so.
“A while time later, we had moved upstairs and he started to see more variations, even his dogs even looked slightly different.
“It was a night of rediscovery of things, objects that he may have seen a thousand times before.
“Keith received his indoor glasses recently and between the two pairs, he wears them regularly and loves his new view of the world.”