Woman gets Cyborg Eyes
Neurosurgeon Kenneth Smith, M.D., of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, said the procedure is the first to reverse blindness in patients without eyes. "They are really seeing. The brain is getting impulses just like when you and I see."
A camera on the tip of Robertson's glasses sends signals to a computer that's strapped around her waist. The computer then stimulates electrodes in the brain through a cord that attaches to the head. Patients see flashes of light and outlines of objects.
"Whatever I see is just two splashes of light, so I know something is there," Robertson says. She admits support from her mom and the local Lion's Club keeps her spirits high. "If I was all depressed, I couldn't affect anybody's life for the good, and I want to make a difference." Friends, family and doctors say she already has.
The surgery is not yet performed in the United States, but Dr. Smith said he hopes it will be in the next five years. The main safety concern is an infection where the port goes into the head. For the surgery to work, patients must have once had vision.
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