WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A local doctor made it over a life-changing hurdle, then kept running toward an “ice cream dream.”
Two days before Doctor Ray Mis turned 40, his world suddenly went dark.
“All I had was peripheral vision,” Mis said from his Warwick office.
Unexplained optic nerve atrophy made him legally blind.
As a gastroenterologist, if he can’t see the issue, he can’t treat it.
His career seemed over.
“It was more disbelief and shock and it turned into, ‘this can’t be happening to me,'” Mis added.
But he tracked down technology to help him read vital information from procedures like colonoscopies.
After about a year of not practicing medicine, he’d advanced enough to be tested by a panel doctors to see if he could still be as precise with his limited eyesight.
The turning point involved a question from a doctor while he was reading a screening.
“This physician says, ‘Ray what do you think of those polyps on the screen?'” Mis recalled. “And suddenly I got sick to my stomach, and I answered quietly, ‘I don’t see any polyps.’ And she said, ‘good, because there aren’t any.’ And I knew then that I was going to succeed.”
At his lowest point, he drowned his shock in ice cream.
“I’ve always loved ice cream,” he said. “I never gave up on the ice cream dream.”
Mis started chasing the idea of giving the often unhealthy treat a dose of fiber, with the same persistence that helped him regain his practice and convince patients to trust his eyes.
“I’m filled with gratitude for those patients today because if they didn’t trust me, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.
The winning recipe is called Seriously Good. And with every scoop, a portion of the profits will be donated to help children battling blindness.
“Early on, not a lot of people gave me a chance to get back to this position today,” Mis said. “So, I think of children who are legally blind, that if we give them hope that you can have a happy, normal life with the right tools, you can contribute to society.”
Recently, Mis had a brief moment when he thought his eyesight had improved.
He acknowledges there was a feeling of disappointment about letting go of the journey he’s traveled since two days before he turned 40.
“I think this disability, if you want to call it that, has taught me that no matter what, you can still play the game. But you just have to play it differently.”Email Walt at firstname.lastname@example.org with you story ideas and follow us on Twitter: @StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.