In the spring of 2014, Cameron Stovall lost his sight doing what he loved. At age 26, he was turkey hunting with cousins on a farm, and despite communicating with one another about their movements, Cameron ended up in the line of fire and was struck with 150 shotgun pellets. A college graduate who was working his dream job, Cameron now faced the rest of his life without his sight.
“We wondered how Cam would live in this world as a blind man,” Mary Stovall, Cameron’s mother, said. “He loved the outdoors. He loved to hunt. He loved life. He was so athletic and only 26 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him.”
“I was seen by multiple physicians who gave me very little hope that any of my vision would ever be restored, but Dr. Robert Morris took my case on a whim,” Cameron said. Dr. Kristen Bains was also an enormous part of Cameron’s recovery, including preforming surgery to improve the vision in his left eye. After numerous operations, the most recent a corneal transplant in October 2018 from donor tissue, Cameron has recovered 10 percent vision in his left eye. “It may not sound like a lot, but it is a tremendous amount for someone who spent almost seven weeks completely blind,” Cameron said.
It is enough that Cameron is able to work in his chosen field, and to once again enjoy the outdoors he loves so much. He even recently built a home of his own and moved out of his parents’ home for the first time since the accident.
“Losing my vision completely stopped me in my tracks.,” Cameron recalled. “It taught me so much about the people around me, my friends and family, and a lot about myself. Those trials were a blessing and still are on a daily basis,” he added.
Today, Cameron dedicates a portion of his free time to sharing his message of hope and encouragement with others at schools, colleges, and churches, among others. “Any opportunity I have to encourage someone, that’s what I do,” Cameron said. “Everyone’s affected by something, struggles on a daily basis. The way we handle that struggle is what speaks to people.”
“I share a lot about Helen Keller and what she overcame, being the first deaf and blind person to ever graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Ann Sullivan gets lost in (Helen’s) story. She devoted her whole life to Helen being able to communicate with her,” Cameron said. He went on to add: “That’s what Dr. Morris and Dr. Bains, and the eyes of donors have done for me. They’re my Ann Sullivan.”