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Bartholomew Lampion was blinded at the age of three, when surgeons reluctantly removed his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. But although eyeless, Barty regained his sight when he was thirteen. This sudden ascent from a decade of darkness into the glory of light was not brought about by a holy healer. No celestial trumpets announced the restoration of his vision, just as none had announced his birth. A rollercoaster had something to do with his recovery, as did a seagull. And you can't discount Barty's profound desire to make his mother proud of him before she died. The first time she died was the day Barty was born. January 6, 1965.