This week, a 21 year old Italian girl, Amabile Battistello, blind from birth, realised a dream to see Paris.
LV. AMABILE BATTISTELLO coming out of hospital with friends.
LV. Leaving hospital.
SV.PAN Amabile with friends walking down street.
Back V. Walking down street.
SV. Amabile walking upstairs in Town Hall, to meet President of the Town Council.
SV. Amabile with friends and President.
SV. Amabile receives silk scarf from President.
CU. President speaking.
CU. Amabile drinking Champagne.
LV. INT Of The ELYSEE; Amabile being greeted by Madame JEANNINE MARCHAL, daughter of President COTY. President of France.
SV. Amabile giving presents to Madame Marchal, for her children.
CU. Her friends watching.
S.Back.V. Amabile holding present.
CU. Madame Marchal kissing Amabile.
Initials jrg JWH/VCW
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: This week, a 21 year old Italian girl, Amabile Battistello, blind from birth, realised a dream to see Paris.
Paris was wonderous, another dream, to this girl who could see with the perception of a child freed from the realm of the Prince of Darkness. And she saw it all through the eye of a priest who, on his death, willed his eyes so that two blind children might see.
It was two years ago that one of them - Amabile, first saw a corner of her new world - Milan, her own city, when she was 19.
The priest, Don Carlo Gnocchi, known as the "Angel of the Sick," for organising aid to infirm and sick children, left his eyes to the Ophthalmic Institute of Milan.
To carry out his wishes and to make a test case in Italian law which forbids grafting operations from dead persons, the Director of the Institute, Professor Galazzi, operated and grafted one cornea on Amabile, the other on a boy of 12.
The professor stood the emotional storm that rocked Italy before and after the operation. And with the success of it hailed in the world's newspapers, Italy finally acclaimed the professor's courage.
Amabile could see. She learned to read and write. She studied. In a Television quiz last month she won over five million lire.
Her decision was to spend a slice of the winnings to see Paris. The rest she gave to the institutions founded by the "Angel of the Sick", Don Carlo Gnocchi.
Paris, city of St. Genevieve the Brave, honoured Amabile. The Chairman of the City Council received her in the salons of the imposing Hotel de Ville, the City Hall, where the chairman, M. Jean Louis Vigiar, presented a silk necklace to her.
And at the official residence of the President of France, the Elysee Palace, Amabile met the daughter of President Rene Coty, Mme. Janine Lemarechal, to whom she offered gifts for her children. Amabile dream was complete.