At the end of June, Colton Hurst saw the color red in its true form for the first time.
Colton, who is red-green color blind, was at a Cincinnati Reds game with his youth baseball team when his father, Jason Hurst, handed him a pair of EnChroma glasses.
“It was awesome,” Colton said. “I was shocked. I didn’t speak for about five minutes.”
Glasses can help color blind people see true vibrancy and color saturation.
Jason Hurst posted the short clip online and Colton’s speechless reaction went viral on Twitter.
“For those who didn’t know my son is color blind. We got to surprise him with @enchroma glasses tonight. What better way to see red for the first time at a @Reds match.” Jason wrote.
In less than a month, the video garnered nearly 550,000 views and 23,000 likes.
The Hursts are a baseball family from Nicholasville, Kentucky. Jason Hurst even coaches the Colton baseball team.
Colton, now 13, received the glasses as an early birthday present.
Hurst first said that his wife was reluctant to give the glasses to their son – due to the range of color blindness, sometimes the EnChroma glasses do not work for some people.
But they worked for Colton, who has issues with reds, browns, yellows and greens.
Colton said he liked the “real red” he saw with EnChroma glasses more than the red he usually saw.
“It’s more dynamic,” Colton said.
The family had planned to give them to Colton during a family trip to Florida during the fall vacation. But when Hurst found out some of the members were going to a Reds game after a baseball tournament in Mason, Ohio, he knew it was the right time.
“On the way home he was like a little kid. He was just looking out the window all the time,” said Jason Hurst.
He said he felt like his son was seeing things for the first time.
Colton’s mother immediately suspected he was color blind, said Jason Hurst, because his maternal grandfather was color blind. A vision test confirmed this when Colton was a young child.
He joked that most people don’t know his son is color blind and even forget about him sometimes. As a baseball coach, he often tells kids to look for the red seams on baseball and aim for that.
Obviously, for Colton, this advice doesn’t really help.
Since going viral, Colton has been interviewed by several TV stations and on a few occasions these interviews have taken place in front of his baseball teammates.
“We’re trying to keep him from having a big head,” Hurst joked.
Hurst said the reaction to the video had been “outrageous”. He had no intention of going viral like most of the other people who made their mark on the internet. He wanted to show the video to his friends and family and hoped the Reds would see it as well.
“The whole experience was positively overwhelming,” he said.