World War II veteran regains use of second eye after freak accident

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

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Veteran Don Karkos was impaired in the December 7, 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor when the tanker USS Rapaden exploded, sending shrapnel into his face, above his right eye.

Don Karkos awoke in a military hospital in Iceland. The doctors told him that he would not be able to see out of that eye again. Life was extremely difficult with the loss of peripheral sight and depth perception. Common results of this impairment include difficulty in navigating through every-day obstacles such as doors or walls.

Three years ago Don Karkos was told he would not be able to restore his vision, even with the current advances in medicine. A few months ago, while tightening the harness of Chimo, a racehorse at the Monticello Raceway in Monticello, New York, Don Karkos was hit in the head by Chimo close to the location of his shrapnel injury. That evening while rubbing his good eye, Don Karkos realized he could once again see through the disabled eye.

Don Karkos plans to visit a doctor after the holiday season.

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