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Emotional moment as colorblind student sees color for first time

Colorblind student sees color for first time
Colorblind student bursts into tears after seeing color for the first time 01:04

Seventh-grader Jonathan Jones got the chance to see the world in color for the first time, thanks to his high school principal.

Like Jones, principal Scott Hanson is also severely colorblind. Hanson was teaching Jones and his peers about colorblindness at Lakeview School in Cottonwood, Minnesota, when he offered Jones an experience he couldn't turn down.

"They're all yours," Hanson told Jones as he handed over his special eyeglasses, which allow him to see in color.

Jones' brother captured the moment as the boy swapped his glasses for Hanson's.

Overcome with emotion, the 12-year-old broke down in tears as he took his first glimpse through the lenses. The moment left him literally speechless — he could only respond with a quick thumbs-up when asked what he thought about the experience.

To test out the life-changing glasses, Jones walked over to a colorful periodic table in the classroom and his classmates encouraged him to check out different things.

"Why don't you keep those for a little while. You can take them home with you today and just wear them around," Principal Hanson offered. "I want you to experience as much as you can and maybe your parents will maybe buy you a pair."

Moved by her son's reaction, Carole Walter Jones, who was in the classroom to witness the moment, started a GoFundMe to raise money to get Jonathan his own pair. 

EnChroma, the company that makes the special glasses, says its lens technology "selectively filters out wavelengths of light" to increase the contrast between different color signals — especially red and green, which appear similar in the most common form of color blindness.

"He was just excited to see everything! This was all new to him and he's still getting used to the glasses now when he wears them," his brother Ben told CBS News.

The family's GoFundMe post received a huge response and quickly surpassed its $350 target, raising over $25,000 in donations.

"We are BLOWN AWAY with the generosity you all have shown Jonathan," Carole wrote.

The family says that they will use the excess funds to purchase glasses for other colorblind people who can't afford a pair. They also announced that EnChroma has pledged to match every pair that the Joneses purchase, doubling the number of people that they can help.

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