Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Crashing Through' from Blindness to Sight

Michael May was blinded at age three, and lived 42 years of his life without sight. In 1999, at age 45, May was given the possibility to see again through a revolutionary stem-cell transplant surgery.

Before the surgery, May lived a full and rich life without vision; he broke records in downhill skiing, worked for the CIA and became a successful inventor. After a lifetime of identifying himself as a person who could not see, deciding to undergo the risky and life-altering procedure was not easy for May; the few documented cases of blind people regaining their sight indicate that it is an exciting and dramatic — but also terrifying — process.

Despite the enormous medical and emotional risks, May decided to go through with the surgery. In a new book, Crashing Through, author Robert Kurson chronicles May's experience regaining his sight: from the joy of seeing his wife and his children for the first time, to the extraordinary frustration he faced learning to use his recovered eyesight.


Robert Kurson, author, Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.