DURHAM, N.C. -- A video of a man seeing light for the first time in 30 years is bringing tears to the eyes of many.
Larry Hester, 66, went blind in his early 30s when he was diagnosed with the degenerative disease retinitis pigmentosa. His ability to see light was restored with the help of a bionic eye on Oct. 1, according to Duke Medicine.
“It was incredible,” Hester says in a video. “It was bright and it was significant. I just had to take a deep breath and it was hard to articulate what I was feeling, but I wanted to share it with everybody I could feel at the time and hug.”
This is only the seventh time the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis has been implanted in a person in the U.S., Duke reported. With the device, blind people can see a sort of pixellated image with flashes of light to help them differentiate shapes that are lighter and darker, according to researchers.
Watch the video to see Hester’s reaction to the device being turned on, as well as researcher’s description of how the prosthesis works.