Woman has a special eye – level 3, A12
"It was really funny when it switched on... I didn't know what to expect... and I don't know if anyone did know what I was going to see and then all of a sudden I went 'yep'.”
Dianne Ashworth suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, inherited condition that causes severe vision loss.
But a team of researchers from the Australian Bionics Institute has designed and built her an eye that is seen as a breakthrough in restoring some sight to the blind.
Dr Lauren Ayton, from the Centre for Eye Research explains how the bionic eye works, "With the prototype the idea is to stimulate the retina to give little spots of light, which are called phosphenes, and so, with her implant, Dianne will be able to see a number of spots in different locations and will be able to see things like shapes and the edges of doorways and objects like that eventually."
The team have signed up two more volunteers to undergo the operation. They hope their research could improve the lives of millions of blind people across the world.
But for Dianne being able to see is already a dream come true. “I could remember when the first, sort of bigger image coming..., I just went ‘wow’. I just didn’t expect it at all. It just did but was amazing.”
Interesting words: all of a sudden (suddenly), yep (yes), retinitis pigmentosa (illness), inherited (got from parents), severe (very big), breakthrough (important moment), sight (vision), retina (part of an eye which sends pictures to a brain), phosphenes (things which give feelings of light)), undergo (have), sort of (kind of), did (came).
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