How I Went Blind

When I was 8, my father, upset over his separation with my mother, shot me in my sleep.. He then shot my brother, Ryan, in his sleep. From there, he committed suicide soon after. My father and brother didn't survive the event, but it wasn't so simple for me.

The bullet entered from my right temple. It severed the retina and optic nerve of my right eye. It passed through my nasal cavity and destroyed my left eye. It exited out my left temple and into the palm of my left hand, all while completely missing my brain.

About Me

  • 21 years old

  • Professional Paralympic swimmer. Living and training at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.

  • Enjoy meeting new people.

  • I'm a musician, love playing video games, Magic the Gathering, extreme sports, etc.

Social Media/Useful Links


Comments: 92 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

squid50s26 karma

Since you were alive for eight years prior to going blind, can you picture colored things in your mind? And do you dream in color?

Nighthawk32129 karma

Yes and yes.

Onewondershow10 karma

How do you play video games if you can't see?

Nighthawk32127 karma

I use stereo headphones. If a game is designed well enough, I'm able to memorize the sounds to know where I'm going. I have several videos on my Youtube channel where I break down specific games: Mortal Kombat, Pokemon, Call of Duty, etc.

JulianDibr6 karma

Could u Post a link to your channel. Sounds pretty interesting

Nighthawk3219 karma

Of course! I have it in the main description of the AMA, as well as all my social media.

[deleted]0 karma


Nighthawk3211 karma


Oh_god_not_you5 karma

How do you deal with depression? Has it ever been an issue for you?

Nighthawk3215 karma

Yes, I have depression. I just take antidepressants that work for me.

Oh_god_not_you3 karma

Wow, do you mind me asking what kind? I’m on anti depressants {pretty much like everyone else actually} myself and they are not that effective.

Nighthawk3216 karma

Lexaproo. I got lucky because they were the first I tried.

canadamadman5 karma

Seeing as you are blind, how do you use reddit? Ex. This post?

Nighthawk3217 karma

I get asked this a lot haha. Here's a video I made explaining it:

canadamadman2 karma

That is verry interesting and amazing how that works. Thak you for the post.

Nighthawk3213 karma


Dragon0X4 karma

What Color is blindness? I need this confirmed

Nighthawk32129 karma

It's different or each person. For someone who was born blind, they simply wouldn't be able to understand color. Since I use to be able to see, I typically see my mind's eye. Similar to if you closed your eyes and pictured something in your mind.

LeoBravo3 karma

Who’s your favorite superhero? Is it reasonable to assume it’s Daredevil?

Nighthawk3215 karma

Haha, I am a little bias. I also really like the Punisher.


What made you want to swim?

Nighthawk3216 karma

I use to play soccer before I went blind, and I missed the physical activity. I began swimming in middle school, thanks to my mom convincing me. I didn't begin to get serious in swimming until 2018.

amc81512 karma

What are your events? We are a swim family!

Nighthawk3213 karma

50 free and 400 free. I also am apart of a relay team.

PulseBladeyBoi2 karma

How was life through school after the event, did your friends stay with you?

And has the event changed your views on the gun community?

Nighthawk32111 karma

It was tough. It was difficult learning how to socialize with sighted people, and sighted people socializing with a blind person. Not to mention I was dealing a lot with everything that had happened to me.

WhipsandPetals2 karma

What are the things that you daydream the most about? Also, what is your favorite color before you went blind

Nighthawk3212 karma

Good question. I usually daydream about what I plan to get done for the day, long term goals, short term goals, etc. My favorite color was blue.

CullenaryArtist2 karma

What helped you and your mother get through this?

Nighthawk3212 karma

The support from friends, family, etc.

_Haslett_1 karma

One question: did you get my discord ping?

Nighthawk3211 karma

When did you send it? Was hanging out with friends last night.

jimcreighton121 karma

Are you in a band and if so what is the band name? Also what do you play?

Nighthawk3211 karma

Nope. I play the piano, drums, guitar, and a little singing.

jimcreighton121 karma

Do you have a favorite genre to play

Nighthawk3211 karma

I mostly like to improvise. When I was younger, I use to love learning songs of bands I liked, but I don't do much of that anymore.

erfanekm1 karma

What are your opinions about society?

Nighthawk3218 karma

Haha, good question. I often like to think I know a lot about the world/society, but I really don't. Overall, I feel the biggest issue in society is that people don't take responsibility for their actions.

oldspice751 karma

How was your experience swimming in the Pan American games in Peru?

Did you end up renting an apartment?

What is exciting or worrisome to you in terms of anticipated changes and development in technology as a blind user?

What tv, movies books or music have you liked recently?

FYI you should fix your twitch link

Nighthawk3212 karma

  1. It was amazing. It was the biggest meet I've been to. The pool was great, the facilities were nice, as well as pretty much everything else there.

  2. Sort of. Not able to talk about it until probably October.

  3. Honestly, not much. typically, it's a good thing when technology advances, because most advancements in technology help blind people in some way.

  4. I'm currently reading the Stormlight Archive. My friend as also convinced me to watch Adventure Time, so I've been chipping away at that as well.

  5. Thanks! Fixed.

oldspice751 karma

Congrats on the medals you won. Did you get to travel around the city or Peru at all while you were there?

You were in an episode of ID: Unbreakable a few months ago. In retrospect, how was that for you?

What is coming up next for you?

Nighthawk3212 karma

  1. We got to see a little, but not a ton. We had to shuttle to the pool every day, so we got to look outt he window. However, We got to visit a park before opening ceremonies, which was really nice.

wallefan011 karma

My friend as also convinced me to watch Adventure Time, so I've been chipping away at that as well.

I can sort of understand playing videogames, but... how does a blind person watch TV?

Nighthawk3211 karma

I just listen; it's really not that different from watching. There are some visual things that go over my head, but TV is still enjoyable.

MalDeOjo-1 karma

How do you play video games? What kind of games? I'm just really confused since all video games require sight to know where to shoot, or build, or anything really..

Nighthawk3211 karma

I have several videos on my channel: how I play mortal combat, pokemon, magic the gathering, etc.

john2find1 karma

how do you perceive new objects as ? for example if a new tech gadgets has recently came in , which you have never seen before, how do you picturize it as ?

Nighthawk3211 karma

I essentially just fill in what I think it would look like. Then I would know when I actually bought said device.

Ebonyks1 karma

I'm fascinated by playing magic the gathering, how do you do it? Do you have someone who helps you read your cards? Have you designed sleeves with braille on them? Have you ever tried playing in a competitive event? What are your thoughts on arena?

Nighthawk3211 karma

I've tried many different methods to read cards. The best method I've found is by brailling information. I actually have a YouTube video on this:

As far as arena, I wish I could play it. I sold out of standard because of how expensive it was, not because I didn't like the format.

AziPloua1 karma

can u atleast see something? or its nothing no even darkness?

Nighthawk3211 karma

Can't see anything

HectorCarnicer1 karma

Did you feel an enhancement in the rest of your senses?

Nighthawk3211 karma


MaltaVinta1 karma

Have you ever used the “ Be My Eyes” app? If so, does it actually help you to have strangers direct you ?

Are there any tips for how to be more effective for someone that interacts with the blind via this program? For example, I usually use clock references to state locations rather than saying left or right. I’ll say “ You’re standing right in front of it, and if you put your hand in the 3 ‘o’clock position, you’ll have your hand right on it.”

Any information on how to communicate better, in a way helpful to the blind would be most appreciated.

Nighthawk3212 karma

I haven't, but I know people who do. Honestly, you already sound well informed on interacting with blind people, especially with the clock.

P3akrzz1 karma

Do u still have any communication with your dad?

Nighthawk3211 karma

He committed suicide...

Palafranco1 karma

Do you like music? What's your favourite band?

Nighthawk3211 karma

Yes. Favorite band is currently Cavetown.

frogstein0 karma

Is your mother still in your life? What was her reaction to this?

Nighthawk3215 karma

Yes she is. She was devastated. She struggled a lot with her mental health. She's happily married now.

Qotsa2019-11 karma

Do you still respect your father??

Nighthawk3219 karma

Not at all.