Stevie Wonder, born in Saginaw, MI on May 13, 1950, was a premature baby. Back then, doctors would put premature infants in an incubator with high levels of oxygen. It was discovered that these babies would often become blind as a result. Dr. Arnall Patz discovered that high levels of oxygen were causing the blood vessels in the back of the eye to constrict. The eye would try to compensate by creating new vessels, which would bleed, causing scar tissue that destroyed the retina. During a clinical trial, he put babies on lower doses of oxygen, saving their sight. But it was too late for Stevie Wonder.
However, Stevie’s blindness didn’t stop him from becoming a world-renowned rock and roll, and rhythm and blues composer. He was one of the first to use synthesizers in music. His big break in the music field came when one of Smokey Robinson’s band mates happened to hear him performing for friends.
At 62, Stevie is still going strong. This year, he is holding his 17th Annual House Full of Toys concert. He and some of his favorite new artists get together to perform, and audience members are asked to bring a gift that will be donated to families in need.