Accidental Miracle – Placebo Treatment Restores Blind Woman’s Eyesight

In 2011, Lynley Hood, an award-winning writer from New Zealand, was reading a book one evening when the vision in her left eye suddenly became blurry. She blamed it on fatigue and decided to turn in for the night. The next morning, however, the blurriness in her eyes had not gone away. She was soon diagnosed with a rare form of glaucoma, and the doctor broke the news to her that her condition would likely never improve and all they could do was keep it from advancing. Hood eventually became legally blind, unable to read anymore. Then, over a decade later, something strange happened: Hood’s eyesight returned. As if things weren’t bad enough, in 2020 she fell and fractured her pelvis, leaving her with severe back pain. Fortunately, that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It gave her the opportunity to participate in a chronic pain treatment clinical trial. The treatment involved Hood wearing a special helmet wired with electrodes to receive electrical stimulation to the brain. It turned out that 80-year-old Hood was in the placebo group, but after 4 weeks of electrical stimulation, her deteriorated eyesight recovered to nearly 100%. In fact, her ophthalmologist could hardly believe it, calling Hood’s restored sight a miracle. After living with severely reduced eyesight for 12 years, Hood began to adjust to her new lease on life by making out a list of the books she had missed over the years and wanted to read. Meanwhile, researchers began designing another study to determine how the electrical stimulation helped Hood and could hopefully help others in the future.