Blind and paralyzed, an adventurer takes new steps

Story highlights

  • Mark Pollock was blind, then paralyzed by a 2010 accident
  • He walks with the assistance of a "robotic exoskeleton"
  • Pollock says people must learn to recognize the reality of their situations to move forward

(CNN)As a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland, Mark Pollock dreamed of being Superman one day.

Like his childhood comic hero, action and adventure have filled Pollock's life, but also tragedy. He is blind, and an accident as an adult left him paralyzed. But he never let his physical setbacks stop him.
    "Whenever I put my Superman costume on as a kid, I didn't have X-ray vision. I had desperately short sight and had to wear big. thick glasses to see," Pollock said during a talk at TEDxHollywood in 2014. "I couldn't leave (glasses) in the phone box like Clark Kent could. That short sight lead me to have a detached retina."
      At the age of 5, Pollock had lost his vision in his right eye. Episodes of periodic blindness followed when