Blind Man’s Reaction to Seeing Wife For First Time in a Decade Is Everything
“It’s crude but it’s significant, you know? It’ll work,” Allen Zderad, 68, said as he was seeing his wife and everything else around him for the first time in 10 years. Thanks to modern technology and a bionic eye implant, Zderad is the 15th person in the country and 101st person in the world to regain his sight thanks to “Second Sight Argus II” Retinal Prosthesis System. The “Argus II” is “intended to provide electrical stimulation of the retina to elicit visual perception in blind individuals with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa,” according to their website.
Zderad, from Minnesota, was a chemist before retinitis pigmentosa – a degenerative eye disease – took his sight and ended his career. However, Mayo Clinic researcher and ophthalmologist Raymond Iezzi Jr. knew that Zderad would be a prime candidate for the surgery. Iezzi installed 60 electrodes in Zderad’s eye, “which interact with a camera in Zderad’s glasses and a wearable computer pack to send information to the electrodes implanted in his retina, which then sends signals straight to the optic nerve,” according to NBC. The grandfather of 10 is seen below describing what he sees to his wife and is overwhelmed with the images as they flash before his eyes. He still can’t see many details, but can make out shapes and forms. The look on his face when he finally sees his wife brings everyone to tears. What’s clear is that as the technology progresses, the world will only get more bright for Zderad.
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