Thanks to bionic eye! Blind man sees wife for first time in 10 years

By Ritu Singh | Updated: Feb 25, 2015, 19:15 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh

Minnesota: Amid fervent anticipation and tears of joy, a man saw his wife for the first time in 10 years. Allen Zderad, 68, who lost his eyesight to a degenerative retinal disease burst into joy as he grabbed her hand and caught a glimpse of her with his new "bionic eye."

Around 20 years ago, he began losing his sight due to a degenerative, incurable eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. By 2005, he had lost almost all of his vision and had to stop working.

Zderad became the 15th person in the country, and the first in his home state, to receive the implanted sight device created by Second Sight, Inc., according to the Mayo Clinic.

The bionic eye implantation involves the insertion of 60 electrodes into the retina. The surgery took about three hours and, two weeks later, he can now see with the artificial vision.

The tiny implant works by sending light waves to the optic nerve, bypassing the damaged retina. Wires attach to a prosthetic device that looks like sunglasses and renders a certain amount of imagery.

The vision it produces is not crystal-clear. Zderdad can see shapes and lights and with additional physical therapy, he will be able to find his way around a room and move through a group of people.

"It's crude, but it's significant. It works," he said, as both he and his wife wept for joy. 

Watch the heartfelt video here

 

Video credit: Mayo Clinic