PrimeTime: A ONCE-BLIND WOMAN’S REMARKABLE JOURNEY

7:49 pm Press Releases - ABC News

August 15, 2001

And: An Encore Presentation of an Exclusive Interview with Teenage Daughter who Brutally Killed her Adoptive Mother, then Claimed Insanity

In this week’s “PrimeTime Thursday,” ABC News’ Jay Schadler tells the miraculous story of a young New Zealand woman who went to sleep blind – and woke up to see her beloved guide dog. Lisa Reid was blind for 10 years, the result of surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumor which had been diagnosed when she was 11.

The operation permanently damaged her optic nerves. Along with her sight, she lost her friends and slowly began re-inventing her life. Lisa became New Zealand’s poster child for kids with cancer, appearing on TV commercials and documentaries throughout her teens. She also participated in fund-raising for the organization that trained her seeing eye dog.

Two years ago she even fell in love. But her life changed dramatically last November when she accidentally tripped and hit her head. She tells Schadler that, when she woke the next morning, she could see again. “It wasn’t scary. It definitely wasn’t scary,” she says. “It was the most beautiful thing ever.” The program airs on THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Lisa could see her dog, her mother, her new boyfriend – even herself. Her ophthalmologist, Dr. Ross McKay, tells “PrimeTime Thursday” he had never seen a case like Lisa’s. Although some scientists in New Zealand questioned if Lisa recovered from a blindness that may have been psychological, McKay maintains that Lisa’s blindness was caused by the operation that removed her tumor in the first place. And, as miraculously as her sight reappeared, her blindness could return. “Whatever is meant to be will be,” she tells Schadler. “Because I look at my life and I actually feel so lucky at the age of 25 to have the knowledge and the love I do within my heart.”

And: Nikki Reynolds was a popular, outgoing teenager from a loving, warm family. Why then did she come home one day and brutally stab her mother to death? In an encore presentation of her first broadcast interview, Reynolds addresses the questions that plague the Coral Springs, FL, community and people nationwide, as she admitted to stabbing her mother to death with a kitchen knife on the evening of May 14, 1997. ABC News’ John Quinones reports on the risky defense strategy that uncovered a startling family secret, unknown to her adoptive parents, that may have held the key to Nikki’s desperate behavior and brutal actions.

Also: “PrimeTime Thursday” gets politically incorrect during a Q&A with Bill Maher, acerbic host of ABC’s “Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher.” “I would like to be a king because I’m not gonna lie. Absolute power I think would be great,” Maher says, responding to a question about what historical figure he’d like to be. “But a very benevolent king that the people loved and the chicks loved.”

“PrimeTime Thursday” is co-anchored by Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson. David Doss is the executive producer. (CLOSED CAPTIONED)

ABC News Media Relations: Adam Pockriss (212) 456-7243 / Todd Polkes (212) 456-4586
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