Now 68, Allen Zderad started to lose his sight about 20 years ago resulting from degenerative retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable eye disease. In 2005, all of his vision was all but lost, and he had to stop working.
This week though, Mr. Zderad was able to see again, following an innovate procedures performed at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.
He received a Second Sight implant, a device that bypasses damaged retina and sends light-wave signals to the optic nerve. Also, a chip was embedded in his right eye to work in conjunction with a device stored in a pair of special glasses.
Almost instantaneously, Mr. Zderad was able to distinguish shapes, human forms, and his own reflection. When his wife sat in front of him, they both burst into tears.
“This is great for this family. It’s also very unusual for a scientist like me to be able to actually apply outcomes of what we’ve worked on for years to help a patient. That’s very special,” said Dr. Raymond Iezzi Jr, the ophthalmologist who led the procedure.