CMR's Hogan Finds Success Despite Loss of Vision - News, Sports and Weather

CMR's Hogan Finds Success Despite Loss of Vision

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This is the sight most people see when they're running up and down the soccer pitch. But for CMR's Kelsey Hogan, it looks more like this.

"I didn't know it was going to happen. I was confused as to what those little dots were," Hogan said.

When Kelsey was 7, she was hit with a baseball below her left eye.  After it happened she says she told her mom she was seeing small dots that drifted through her field of vision. Kelsey went to the doctor and was originally diagnosed with a typical black eye. But her injury turned out to be anything but typical. Years later she says she went in to get a routine eye exam. That's when her life changed.

"When I went to my left eye I couldn't see and that freaked my mom and the doctor out and they were like 'what'?" Kelsey said

Kelsey had a detached retina, which eventually blinded her completely in her left eye. 

"I had my first eye surgery that December in 4th grade to basically just reattach it," she said.

The first surgery didn't work out as planned. So the family went down to Salt Lake City, Utah to see a specialist. Kelsey had four more surgeries, but none of them enabled her to see again. The doctors

"kind of gave up I guess because none of the surgeries were really working because I had so much tissue damage and scar tissue built up," she said.

With no resolution in the near future, Kelsey chose to make the best out of her unlucky situation and adapt her game.

"I have to turn my head more to see if anyone is coming but it's mostly on my teammates to communicate," she said.

Kelsey's play hasn't deteriorated either. CMR head coach Willie Pyette says he's never had to adjust his game-plan to compromise for Kelsey's lack of sight.

"I think she sees the field as well as anybody we have with two eyes," Pyette said.

The condition is at times a second thought to her teammates as well because of how well she plays.

"I found out about her eye probably my first or second open field at CMR and I had no idea so you can't even tell that she's blind," said teammate Emily Funseth. 

Because of her injury, Kelsey wears a pair of protective goggles during games.

"My goggles are basically to protect my right eye. My parents' fear is that it will happen to my right eye so that I completely go blind."

Kelsey's sight could be limited for the rest of her life. But that doesn't mean her spirits and intensity on the field will be limited, too.

"This can't hold me back. I know people who have struggles in their lives so why does this have to hold me back?" she said.

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