(WSVN) Patient Carmen Torres is finally able to see light after 16 years of darkness, thanks to her bionic eye. Speaking at a news conference held at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Friday, she described the moment when she realized she was able to see again. “It was very emotional, but I’m very strong. I didn’t cry. I was laughing, and I was just laughing like crazy,” she said.
It was a joyful response after a complicated procedure. “Degenerations that are hereditary or age-related is what, right now, this device is aimed for,” said Dr. Ninel Gregori with the institute, “but who knows in the future?”
Doctors used advanced technology created by a medical device company out of California, inserting an implant into her eye that consists of a receiver and an array of electrodes. The implant works in tandem with a tiny camera located inside dark glasses worn by Torres. “That’s how I get my optics. Looking through the camera, and this is a coil, and this coil connects to Wi-Fi, to my implant inside my eye,” she said.
With time and training that includes playtime with her grandson, Torres has learned to interpret visual patterns. She likened using her bionic eye to learning a new language, adding that after an incurable eye condition diagnosis, she will be enjoying every moment of her new, high-tech eyewear. “They’re cool. I look good, I look different. Look at this,” she said.
Doctors with the institute have already identified a second patient through the Veterans Health Administration. They will fit him for a bionic eye once the finances for the procedure are in order.
Image credit: Ahmed Sinan