By Caitlin O'Kane CBS News November 27, 2018, 12:19 PM "A different world": Colorblind sheriff's deputy sees color for the first time thanks to colleagues' gift
Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Dishmon received a big bouquet of colorful star-shaped balloons from his coworkers earlier this month. While the gesture was nice, some of the impact was lost on Dishmon, who is colorblind and couldn't fully appreciate the vibrantly hued balloons. That is, until his colleague, Correctional Deputy Samantha Freese, handed him the second part of his gift.
Dishmon was not only getting balloons, he was getting specialized glasses that let him see color for the first time in his life.
"I got you something," Freese said to Dishmon, who is is like a grandfather to her, she told Reuters.
She handed Dishmon the glasses as another deputy filmed the gift-giving. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, in Northern California, posted the reaction video on Facebook, and it went viral.
"You're going to make her cry," the deputy behind the camera told Dishmon.
"I'm already crying," Freese said, as tears welled up in her eyes.
Dishmon carefully placed the special glasses over his own and became immediately overwhelmed. His coworker gave him the gift of color – something he never thought he'd be able to experience in his lifetime.
"Oh my God! I see …" he said, too emotional to finish the sentence.
"What do you see?" Freese asked.
"A different world!" Dishmon replied. Tears continued to flow as he took in all the colors of the world for the first time.
Freese began to point out the colors of the balloons. "That one's purple. You have green, blue. And a red and a yellow," she said.
Dishmon was in awe. "Oh my goodness, you're unbelievable," he told Freese as he hugged her.
Freese told him that their colleagues had pitched in together to buy the glasses, and Dishmon thanked them, too. Then he revealed what he really wanted to do now that he has the ability to see color: "My wife is going to watch a sunset with me," he said, wiping tears from his eyes.
Dishmon then picked up the phone and called his wife. He told her about the amazing gift he received and described what it was like to see color for the first time as he looked out over the California landscape.
"For the first time in my life, I see all the colors … You wouldn't believe this place. This whole place is lit up. I mean, the whole world is lit up," he said.