'It’s a whole new way of seeing’: N.D. man set to receive bionic eye
HORACE, N.D.—A Horace, North Dakota man is just one week away from getting the chance to see again.
Allan Peterson slowly lost his sight 30 years ago from a cruel, degenerative eye disease.
Peterson will be one of just a handful in the world to receive the "Argus Two," a bionic eye.
"This is the first breakthrough for people with the eye disease that I have," Peterson said.
Peterson may have lost his sight, but he's never lost his sense of humor.
"How do you know your wife is mad at you, you can't see her. I said she rearranges the furniture," Peterson said.
Peterson and his wife, Judy, remember life 25 years ago, when Allen began losing his eyesight.
It was slow but brutal.
"At the end, I could just see part of one letter," Peterson said.
Then at the age of 45, total blindness.
"You have a lot of emotions, you go through them all, anger and depression but you learn over time, you deal with what you have got," Peterson said.
Now the couple is preparing for a revolutionary, technological marvel for those with retinitis pigmentosa: The Argus II Prosthesis, a camera on a pair of glasses sends video to a computer chip.
Signals are then transmitted to a retinal implant. The retina is stimulated, the optic nerve and brain get the visual information, and the patient sees.
"It is a new way of seeing," Peterson said.
Right now, Allen can't see anything and he certainly knows the surgery will mean limited vision.
"I would not see your face but I could see the outline of your head," Peterson said.
Still, with three fast-moving, fun-loving grandkids in their lives, the Petersons hope the surgery will open up a whole new world for Allen and grandchildren.
"I am hoping I can see them running around. I hear them running around a lot," Peterson said.
Allen will be just the eighth person to receive the bionic eye at the University of Minnesota.