Wilmington student receives gift of a lifetime from classmates

Wilmington student receives gift of a lifetime from classmates

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Santa’s red suit, a green Christmas tree and colorful strands of lights all showcase the colors of the season many of us are used to seeing.

They’re also all things Jacob Prease never fully experienced before. You can say he’s been living life in black and white until he was given the gift of color.

Color blindness is not a form of blindness at all, but a deficiency in the way people see color. It’s an inherited condition that affects males more than females. In fact, about 8 percent of the male population have color vision problems.

“When I put the glasses on it was a totally different view of each different color and how they actually were shown,” said Prease.

The entire senior class at Wilmington Christian Academy pitched in to buy the glasses. Thirty three members of the student government came up with the idea after they saw Jacob struggling with his homework.

It started as an idea between three people, then 15, then all 33 students were in on the fun.

“This was totally student driven,” said Harold Dotson, classroom sponsor at the school. “It originated with them, none of the teachers had any idea that it was taking place.”

Many of the students have been classmates since they were little and they say Jacob is like a brother to them. He’s always helping out, so it was only natural to return the favor.

“He’s the type of guy to say ‘OK I got this,’" said classmate Paytan Giddings. "So we all just thought we need to do something for Jacob, we need to do something special for him since he’s always there for us.”

Now Christmas trees look normal, and a formerly boring holiday wreath is now full of life.

“I can see certain lights and decorations, but they weren’t as bright," said Prease. "They were there but I didn’t think they were going to be like that until I put the glasses on.”

But maybe seeing in color wasn’t the greatest gift after all. Maybe, it was learning there are angels among us.

“At first, I didn’t think it was real, because I didn’t think I could have a family like that at school.”

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