Larry, now 66, went blind 33 years ago due to a degenerative disease called retinitis pigmentosa, Duke University reported. The doctors at Duke have connected him with an Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Device – only one of seven patients – which uses wireless technology to send visual signals to the brain.
Although the device won’t allow him to regain his vision completely, Larry is now able to see flashes of light and he can make clear distinctions between light and dark areas. He will work closely with the team at Duke Eye Center for continued training on the device.
Larry received devastating news at Duke three decades ago explaining that he would eventually go blind. Now, at the beginning of October, Duke’s doctors turned on Larry’s surgically implanted eye and he saw light.
“Can I kiss him?” his wife, Jerry Hester, exclaims in the video when Larry confirms that he is in fact seeing flashing light. The two of them embraced and shared a beautiful moment together.
Larry’s vision has improved since that day, and he continues to work with his doctors to learn the device, getting better day by day. It’s gotten to the point where he was recently able to distinguish between a dark chair his wife was sitting in and the lighter colour of her skin against it.
“He reached out and touched my face,” she said. “That is the first time he had done that in a long time. It was a sweet and precious moment.”
Watch the wonderful moment where doctors turn on Larry’s bionic eye.
Feel inspired. Like us on Facebook.