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Kerry Sanders, a veteran Miami-based correspondent since 1996 for NBC News, was temporarily blinded last month while covering the Michael Dunn trial in Jacksonville.
“I was in front of a TV camera from 7:30am until 5:30pm reporting for the TODAY Show, MSNBC and Nightly News,” Sanders wrote in a letter to “friends and colleagues who may have wondered why I seemed to have slipped off the radar.”
“The HMI light malfunctioned and the UV light was slowly burning my corneas, as well as frying the skin on my face.”
“Not only could I not see,” he said, “but my eyes burned in pain as if two hot coals smoldered in my sockets. The darkness lasted a frightening 36-hours. I still see foggy halos and out-of-focus views. The doctors say my eyesight will eventually return to normal.”
Sanders’s experience is not uncommon. Norwegian Prince and Princess Haakon and Mette-Marit were seriously UV-burned by a broken HMI light during a lengthy 2002 interview with a German TV network.
It was later found that the safety glass on one of the lamps was missing. The princess, like Kerry Sanders, was treated for UV burn on her retinas.